Mauritania-EU controversial fisheries agreement approved
The controversial European Union-Mauritania fisheries deal has finally been approved by the members of the European parliament much to the dismay of some of the fishermen. The protocol of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) with Mauritania becomes the biggest with regards to volume and the highest financial contribution that the EU has ever concluded. The deal will expire in 2014 but there are already expectations that it will be renewed.
649 European parliamentarians decided the fate of the agreement that has been heavily criticized for excluding cephalopod. Spain has been very critical of the exclusion despite being the principal beneficiary of it because the regions of Galicia and Canaries will be heavily affected by the job losses.
The agreement was approved by a resolution supported by more than 71% of the parliament as it received 467 favorable votes. 28 members of the parliament preferred to abstain while 154 members, less than 24%, rejected it. Before its approval, the protocol to the EU-Mauritania FPA has been provisionally applied since August last year.
European vessels can catch several species of fish and shellfish in waters under Mauritania’s jurisdiction. In return, €67million will be disbursed to Mauritania per annum and an added €3 million will be allocated for developing its local fisheries sector respectively.
Rapporteur Gabriel Mato Adrover voted against the approval of the agreement and told his colleagues to “prepare for the renewal of this agreement” after its expiration in 2014. He cautioned the negotiators to “make sure it includes the whole sector.”
Those who backed the approval claimed it provided more sustainability than its predecessors, consistent with the rules of the new Common Fisheries Policy and served the interest of Mauritanians. Presently, seven EU countries use the protocol.