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Dolores Garcia-Hierro Caraballo drafted the parliamentarian resolution. (Photo: EP)

More sustainable fisheries deal reached with Mozambique

EUROPEAN UNION
Thursday, May 24, 2012, 02:50 (GMT + 9)

A new deal with Mozambique, which licenses fishing opportunities to 75 European Union (EU) vessels from Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and the UK, puts more emphasis on sustainable fishing and controls and obliges EU vessel owners to employ local seamen, was backed by Parliament in a vote this week.

The resolution, drafted by Dolores García-Hierro Caraballo (S&D, ES) and approved with 566 votes in favour, 89 against and 17 abstentions, gave a green light to the deal, while reiterating Parliament's call to be more extensively involved in its monitoring and enforcement.

The deal, which has applied provisionally since 1 February 2012, will remain in force until 31 January 2015.

Fewer vessels

Since overall catches by EU vessels in Mozambique's waters in recent years have been below the levels assigned to them, the deal reduces the reference tonnage from 10,000 to 8,000 tonnes per year, but allows the ceiling to be raised if necessary. Accordingly, the number of EU vessels allowed to fish in these waters will be reduced from 89 to 75: 43 tuna seiners and 32 surface long-liners.

Under the deal the EU will pay Mozambique EUR 980,000 per year: EUR 520,000 for access to its waters and EUR 460,000 to develop its fisheries policy.

More inspections

One third of all EU vessels authorised to fish in Mozambican waters will have to undergo an annual inspection in a Mozambican port before starting to fish. From 1 July 2012, an electronic logbook system will be introduced to record and transmit catch reports and a Mozambican scientific institute will help to verify catch data.

Mozambican seamen on board

The deal also requires EU vessel owners to hire at least two Mozambican seamen per seiner and one per long-liner, or pay a fine of EUR 30 per day if they fail to do so.

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