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Parliament committee approves Morocco fisheries deal
European Voice - The European Parliament's fisheries committee has endorsed a controversial €36 million deal with Morocco that gives Spanish fishermen access to the country's waters and to waters off Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara.
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European Voice
By Toby Vogel
22 November 2011

The committee today (22 November) voted 12 to eight in favour (with one abstention) of a one-year extension of the agreement. The entire Parliament is is expected to vote on the matter in December.

Carl Haglund, a Finnish Liberal MEP who prepared a report on the deal, had urged his fellow MEPs to reject the extension because of the financial, environmental and legal problems it raises. The Parliament's development and budget committees, which were asked to provide their opinion earlier this month, also recommended a ‘No' vote.

In his report, Haglund called the agreement “a waste of taxpayers' money,” saying its cost to the EU exceeds the benefit it provides to Spanish fishermen.

Haglund said after today's vote that the fisheries committee was “the toughest place to win the vote”, but that the committee was “not necessarily representative” of the entire Parliament.

“There is every chance that the plenary will follow the report and the vote in the budgets and development committees,” he said.

Raül Romeva, a Spanish Green MEP, said that a majority of MEPs on the committee had voted “to put the narrow interests of the Spanish and French fishing industries ahead of the respect of international law and the rights of the people of Western Sahara”. He described the agreement as “a blot on the EU's foreign policy”.

The EU does not recognise Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony.

Maria Damanaki, the European commissioner for fisheries, is expected in the coming weeks to seek a mandate from the member states to negotiate a new fishing agreement with Morocco.


News archive:
01.12 - 20117 Dec: Conference on EU fisheries in European Parliament
24.11 - 2011Parliament committee approves Morocco fisheries deal
07.11 - 2011Two EU Parliament committees reject EU-Morocco Fish Pact
06.11 - 2011Bastagli: Europe turns its back on the Arab Spring's forgotten nation
03.11 - 2011Sharks in danger of extinction in Western Sahara
24.10 - 2011Scottish fishing sector favours illegal fisheries in occupied waters
11.10 - 2011Budget rapporteur calls for rejection of fish pact
10.10 - 2011Development rapporteur urges Parliament to thumb down fish deal
04.10 - 2011Commission criticised over handling of Morocco agreement
24.09 - 2011Fisheries rapporteur recommends end to EU-Morocco fish pact
07.09 - 2011Divisive Fish Pact possibly referred to European Court of Justice
01.09 - 2011MEPs' disappointment with fisheries agreement with Morocco
08.08 - 2011Ireland unsatisfied by Moroccan fish report
13.07 - 2011EU Council and Morocco sign extension illegal fish pact


The EU considers to pay Morocco to fish in occupied Western Sahara. An EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement from 2013 would be both politically controversial and in violation of international law. The international Fish Elsewhere! campaign demands the EU to avoid such unethical operations, and go fishing somewhere else. No fishing in Western Sahara should take place until the conflict is solved.
عريضة لوقف النهب


يحضر الاتحاد الاوربي لإبرام اتفاق غير اخلاقي جديد للصيد البحري مع المغرب في سنة 2013.

مرة اخرى، يعتزم الاتحاد الاوربي الصيد في المياه الاقليمية للصحراء الغربية المحتلة في خرق سافر للقانون الدولي. وقع هذه العريضة للتنديد بذلك.

"EU fisheries in Western Sahara must be stopped"

Western Sahara human rights activist Aminatou Haidar hopes for increased attention to the EU plundering of occupied Western Sahara.


10.04 - 2012
Guardian: EU taking its over-fishing habits to west African waters?
15.12 - 2011
EU Observer: Morocco expels EU fishing boats
15.12 - 2011
BBC News: Morocco's fish fight: High stakes over Western Sahara
15.12 - 2011
European Voice: MEPs reject EU-Morocco fisheries pact
15.12 - 2011
Reuters: EU lawmakers reject Morocco fisheries pact

Human rights activist Malak Amidane denounces EU fisheries