EU, Senegal sign new fishing access agreement

The European Union and Senegal have signed a new five-year protocol to an existing Sustainable Fishing Partnership Agreement (SFPA) that allows E.U. vessels access to Senegalese waters to fish for tuna species and hake. 

The new protocol replaces the current protocol, which is due to expire in November 2019, and allows a maximum of 28 tuna seiners, 10 pole-and-liners, five longliners, and two trawlers from the E.U. This limit is based on the best available scientific advice, a stakeholders’ consultation, and follows the recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).

According to the European Commission, the protocol will contribute to the sustainable management and conservation of natural resources in the waters of Senegal as, based on scientific advice, it foresees lower total allowable catches (TACs) for hake compared to the current protocol. 

The reference tonnage for tuna has been adapted to historical catches. Furthermore, it also includes measures to limit catches of marine birds and marine mammals, and to reinforce the role of scientific observers.

In exchange for the fishing rights, the E.U. will give the West African nation EUR 1.7 million (USD 1.9 million) annually. Of this, EUR 900,000 (USD 1 million) per year is earmarked to promote the sustainable management of fisheries in Senegal, in particular through measures that reinforce control and surveillance capacities and the fight against illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing. Moreover, the E.U. funds will be used to promote the development of scientific capacities and to support the development of the artisanal fishing. 

There will also be an additional contribution of EUR 1.35 million (USD 1.5 million) from E.U. shipowners. 

The E.U. and Senegal have had fisheries partnerships in place since 1980.

Photo courtesy of lunamarina/Shutterstock


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