EU renews partnership with Seychelles

During the European Tropical Tuna Trade and Industry Committee meeting in Brussels last week, ANFACO, Spain’s fisheries organization, petitioned the European Union for more favorable tuna policy considerations, following the EU’s Seychelles Fisheries Partnership Agreement giving Spain the lion’s share of tuna-vessel licenses.

ANFACO stressed the importance of ensuring the viability and competitiveness of the tuna industry in Spain and the EU, given the heavy dependence on fishing in regions such Galicia and the significant number of jobs it generates.

Expressing concern over major competitors, including Thailand and the Philippines, ANFACO criticized the EU’s “preferential terms” with third-party countries, which exempt them from tariffs and other trade restrictions.

Following two days of negotiations, the EU nevertheless renewed its Fisheries Partnership Agreement with the Republic of Seychelles for a three-year period, starting January 2011.

The Spanish fleet secured a major deal with 22 of the 48 licensed purse seiners and two of the 12 licensed long liners; most are based in Basque, Galicia and Andalusia.

In exchange for the right to access the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone, the EU will provide an annual financial contribution of EUR 5.6 million (USD 6.7 million), set at 52,000 metric tons against the current 63,000 metric tons for a total of 60 vessels instead of the current 52.

The EU will allocate an additional EUR 2.2 million (USD 2.6 million) to support the Seychelles’ fisheries, maritime policy and protected marine areas.

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