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Sunday 22 July 2018

Official : New Morocco-EU Fisheries Agreement Insists on Preserving Sustainability of Fisheries Resources

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Official : New Morocco-EU Fisheries Agreement Insists on Preserving Sustainability of Fisheries Resources

New Morocco-EU Fisheries Agreement Insists on Preserving Sustainability of Fisheries Resources, Official

The new fisheries agreement, initialed on Tuesday in Rabat, seeks to preserve the sustainability of fisheries resources and protect the sea environment, said, Tuesday in Rabat, agriculture minister Aziz Akhannouch.

In a statement to the press after the initialling of the agreement, Akhannouch underlined that the objective of the agreement is to insist on the preservation of the sustainability of fisheries resources, given that many fish species, which are being regenerated in Morocco, were not included in the previous agreement.

The Minister also stated that the two parties have agreed under this agreement to provide financial means for the benefit of the population and fishermen, in order to enable them to benefit from socio-economic projects, which are part of the "Halieutis plan" and contribute to the restructuring of the fisheries sector.

Akhannouch stressed that this is "a balanced agreement", which takes into account all the perspectives in force and answers all the questions that were asked.

For her part, EU Ambassador to Morocco Claudia Wiedey said she was "proud" of the initialling of this agreement, which prepares the future of the fisheries sector for both Morocco and the European Union.

Wiedey also stressed in a similar statement that this is a "win-win" partnership, both financially and in terms of fishing quotas, adding that this agreement will strengthen cooperation between Morocco and the EU in a key sector which is fisheries.

The new agreement specifies, among other things, the fishing zones and the access conditions for the European fleet, through the accurate definition of fishing zones and management zones according to the fleet categories and target species.

According to the modalities provided for in this new generation agreement, the level of compulsory unloading and fishing categories remain unchanged compared to the old agreement, with a number of vessels reaching 128.

This agreement will also increase the financial contribution from an annual average of 40 mln euros to 52.2 (+ 30%).

MAP 24 July 2018

Morocco-EU Fisheries Agreement Crowns Talks Process Marked by Consensus, FM

The initialing of the Morocco-EU Fisheries Agreement crowns a process of seven rounds of talks which took place in normal conditions, marked by the consensus of the two parties, said, Tuesday in Rabat, foreign minister Nasser Bourita.

In a statement to the press after the initialing ceremony of this agreement, in the presence of Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development and Waters and Forests Aziz Akhannouch, Bourita stressed that the initialling of the Morocco-EU fisheries agreement is the crowning of a process of talks, which lasted seven rounds and spanned three months, in Brussels and Rabat, under normal conditions marked by consensus between Morocco and the EU.

Bourita added that this initialing gives concrete substance to the achievement of three objectives, the first of which is aimed at strengthening the partnership between Morocco and the EU in the field of fisheries, a partnership that goes back to over 30 years and which is based on several previously concluded agreements.

The second goal is to respond to maneuvers and attempts to disrupt this partnership and to question the inclusion of the Moroccan Sahara in this agreement, he said, noting that "the answer is clear, since Article 1 of this agreement stipulates that the fishing area extends from parallel 35 to parallel 22, meaning from Cape Spartel in northern Morocco to Cap Blanc in the south."

This article also says that the fishing zone includes waters in the Sahara region, noted the minister, underlining that Morocco cannot, in any case, ratify an agreement that does not cover all of its territory.

The third objective of this agreement is to strengthen the fisheries sector, mainly in the southern areas and zones covered by the said agreement, through job creation, supporting the sector locally and contributing to socio-economic development, Bourita said.

The agreement also aims to ensure the sustainability of sea products in the region, through a number of mechanisms to fight the over-exploitation of fisheries resources in this area, he said.

Bourita pointed out that after the initialling of the Morocco-EU fisheries agreement "the process is still long", stating that the agreement must then be submitted to the legislative procedure at both the Moroccan and European level, a fact that requires the same mobilization and the same action, with the same spirit of consensus and the same positive approach which marked the negotiations.

The minister said that this mobilization, which was diplomatic until now, must also be political, calling on political stakeholders to back up the next steps.

The new agreement specifies, among other things, the fishing zones and the access conditions for the European fleet, through the accurate definition of fishing zones and management zones according to the fleet categories and target species.

According to the modalities provided for in this new generation agreement, the level of compulsory unloading and fishing categories remain unchanged compared to the old agreement, with a number of vessels reaching 128.

This agreement will also increase the financial contribution from an annual average of 40 mln euros to 52.2 (+ 30%).
MAP 24 July 2018

 

Chairman of EU-Morocco Friendship Group Lauds Initialing of Fisheries Agreement

Chairman of the EU-Morocco Friendship Group Gilles Pargneaux lauded the initialing, Tuesday, of the Fisheries Agreement as a first positive step before its adoption by the European Parliament.

The Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union have reached an agreement that respects the conclusions of the EU Court of Justice on the one hand, and which does not call into question the fundamentals of the UN process over the Sahara on the other hand, said the Euro-deputy in a statement to MAP.

Pargneaux said that this is a positive step especially for European fishermen, noting that the contract will be respected whether in terms of regional economic benefits, sustainable management of fish stocks or consultation with local populations.

The chairman of the EU-Morocco friendship group expressed his willingness to defend the benefits of this agreement at the European Parliament.

The new agreement specifies, among other things, the fishing zones and the access conditions for the European fleet, through the accurate definition of fishing zones and management zones according to the fleet categories and target species.

According to the modalities provided for in this new generation agreement, the level of compulsory unloading and fishing categories remain unchanged compared to the old agreement, with a number of vessels reaching 128.

This agreement will also increase the financial contribution from an annual average of 40 mln euros to 52.2 (+ 30%).
MAP 24 July 2018


New Morocco-EU Fisheries Agreements Initialled in Rabat

A new fisheries agreement between Morocco and the European Union (EU) was initialled Tuesday in Rabat following negotiations that started a few months ago.

The two sides agreed on the content of the new sustainable fisheries agreement and its implementation protocol, the ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Waters and Forests announced in a release.

This text specifies the fishing zones and access conditions for European vessels.

The level of compulsory landings and fishing categories remain unchanged compared to the former agreement, while the number of vessels concerned by the new agreement would reach 128, the statement said.

This agreement will also increase the financial envelope for Morocco from 40 million Euros a year to 52.2 million Euros (+ 30%), it added.

The two sides also agreed on the implementation of improvement measures to increase benefits for the local populations in the concerned areas, the source pointed out, adding that these populations will benefit from the socio-economic advantages of the agreement, including in terms of infrastructure, basic social services, enterprise creation, vocational training, development projects and modernization of the fishing sector.

The number of Moroccan sailors aboard European fishing vessels will also increase, the source said.

To increase the socio-economic impacts on these regions, the agreement maintains a compulsory landing volume with an increase of penalties to 15% instead of 5% in case of non-compliance with these landings requirements.

According to the same source, several technical requirements have been included in the new agreement in order to preserve the sustainability of fisheries resources and protect the marine environment, such as a review of catches of small pelagics in the south.

In order to preserve some species, octopus and shrimps are not included in the agreement, which covers the geographical area from Cape Spartel to Cape Blanc while excluding the Mediterranean Sea in order to preserve its resources which are overexploited.

The fisheries monitoring and control system was also strengthened by making the presence of observers compulsory for some categories that were not provided for in the former agreement, the statement said.

MAP 24 July 2018

Morocco-EU Fisheries Agreement Renewal Bolstered Morocco's Position as Unique Interlocutor to Negotiate International Agreements Including Sahara, Foreign Ministry

Talks on the renewal of the fisheries partnership agreement between Morocco and the EU succeeded in including the Moroccan Sahara, which is a stage that bolsters Morocco's position as unique interlocutor to negotiate international agreements including the Sahara, said the foreign affairs ministry.

Attempts by the opponents of Morocco to question this exclusive jurisdiction have been foiled and rejected, said the ministry which added that this stage helped to close a new chapter on overcoming legal incidents and vain attacks from third parties.

Throughout the negotiation process, Morocco was clear and firm on its national fundamentals: the Kingdom has never concluded - and will never conclude - an international agreement that compromises the attributes of its sovereignty over its southern provinces, said the Ministry.

Morocco has again clearly demonstrated its determination to uphold its fundamentals, because its territorial integrity is, and will remain, a red line that can not be the subject of a compromise or a negotiation, it noted.

Negotiations on the renewal of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union, which began on April 20, 2018, culminated in success after four rounds.

Like the agricultural agreement, at the end of negotiations, the two parties agreed that the adaptation of the Fisheries Agreement will be in the form of an "Exchange of Letters", including the Moroccan Sahara, the ministry said, adding that the negotiated text expressly mentions that the tariff preferences recognized in Morocco also apply, and under the same conditions, to products caught in Moroccan waters of the southern provinces.

Held in a spirit of trust, the different rounds of negotiations respected the principles that have always prevailed in the Morocco-EU partnership, that is the global nature (fishing is fundamental because it is part of a global partnership) and lessons learned (fishing is an achievement of more than 30 years in the Morocco-EU partnership), the ministry noted.

Following the adoption by the Foreign Ministers Council of the Agricultural Agreement, this new stage in the process of adaptation of the Fisheries Agreement paves the way for the two parties to continue their future cooperation and strengthen their rich, global and strategic partnership, by showing that they are - and will remain - on the same side, that of international law and mutual respect.

The rest of this adaptation process will be carried out following an internal EU procedure, first among the Member States, through an adoption by the Council, and then in Parliament for vote and adoption. On the national side, the procedure will continue according to the law in force.

MAP 20 July 2018