Morocco approves new fishing protocol with EU
The Moroccan government has ratified a new fisheries protocol with the European Commission that will allow European vessels to fish in Moroccan waters again after more than two years.
The last protocol with Morocco terminated in December 2011. The European Parliament and Council of Ministers signed a new protocol at the end of 2013, but the new arrangement needed ratification by Morocco to take effect.
“I am glad that this protocol can finally enter into force: our fishermen have been waiting for this day for more than two years,” said Maria Damanaki, European commissioner for maritime affairs and fisheries.
The ratification means EU vessels will now receive certain fishing rights in Moroccan waters in return for financial assistance by the EU to develop the Moroccan fishery sector. The protocol affects up to 120 vessels from 11 EU countries.
“This new protocol is an example for responsible international fisheries governance: we made sure that the EU’s fishing rights do not exceed the scientifically sound limit that ensures sustainable fisheries, and that European vessels do not compete with local fishermen,” Damanaki said. “I am confident that the EU’s financial support will help build a sustainable future for Moroccan fisheries through the targeted sectoral support.”