The Moroccan delegation was led by Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita, while the EU’s was chaired by Joao Aguiar Matchado Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
The EU decision to open talks for the renewal of the fisheries accord deals a hard blow to the enemies of Morocco’s territorial integrity as the European Council gave its approval for the European commission to open negotiations with Morocco on a new fisheries deal, which includes the Moroccan Sahara.
About 120 vessels from 11 EU countries (Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, The Netherlands, Ireland, Poland and United Kingdom) are operating in Morocco’s waters.
Both the EU and Morocco benefit from the fisheries agreement. According to an independent study, the deal not only promotes sustainable development of the fisheries sector through Halieutis strategy projects but also facilitates jobs for Moroccan sailors and fishermen via 1000 boarding contracts per year.
Moreover, over 75 pc of the socio-economic benefits of the agreement, such as creation of hundreds of new jobs and improvement of working conditions of tens of thousands of people, are enjoyed by people living in the Southern provinces.
Similarly, the gains of the 11 EU countries operating in Moroccan waters largely exceed the €30m EU investment for the support of Moroccan sectoral fisheries policy. In effect, every Euro invested created €2.78 value added for the EU.