According to EU Commissioner of Fisheries Maria Damanaki, the economic factor delays the fishing agreement with Mauritania. (Photo: CE)
Damanaki recognizes likelihood of fishing interruption in Mauritania
Tuesday, April 03, 2012, 01:00 (GMT + 9)
The Commissioner of Fisheries of the European Union (EU), Maria Damanaki, admitted that the delay in the signing of a new fisheries agreement with Mauritania may cause the disruption of the fishing activity in the waters of that African country.
"Given the current state of the negotiations" to sign a new bilateral agreement between the EU and the Mauritanian government, “there is a risk of disruption of the fishing activities," explained the Commissioner.
Damanki expressed these statements in response to a question from the Spanish Member of the European Parliament, Antolin Sánchez Presedo.
The legislator had asked about the plans of the European Commission (EC) as to a covenant which more than 20 Galician vessels fishing in Mauritanian fishery depended on, the news agency EFE reported.
The current fisheries agreement has been in effect since 1 August, 2008 and expires on 31 July.
Damanaki said the negotiation process is "still ongoing" and recalled that "any final agreement must take into account the status of fish stocks."
According to the European Commissioner, the main drawback to seal the future agreement is the economic factor.
"Mauritania believes that the EU offer is too low," she explained. In this regard, she pointed out that "Mauritania´s demand is not justified by considering some sound commercial considerations and the principles of sustainability."
"The EC will continue making efforts to find an acceptable solution for both parties and to conclude negotiations in time before the expiration of the current protocol to avoid interrupting fishing operations," she added.
Meanwhile, Sánchez Presedo stated that in 2006 39 Community vessels fished in Mauritanian waters while at present only 24 vessels do so.
In addition, the MEP stressed that the Galician fleet is experiencing the delay of the signing of a new fisheries agreement “with particular concern,” the newspaper La Voz de Galicia reported.
The latest round of negotiations took place last December.
The financial contribution for European vessels to be able to fish in the fishery amounted to EUR 86 million during the first year of the covenant, and to EUR 76 million, EUR 73 million and EUR 70 million during the second, third and fourth years, respectively.
Out of these amounts, Mauritania allocated EUR 11 million, EUR 16 million, EUR 18 million and EUR 20 million during the first, second, third and fourth years, respectively, as the financial support for the establishment of a national fisheries policy.
- Unsuccessful negotiations to renew the agreement with Mauritania
By Analia Murias
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member European Commission - Fisheries and Maritime Affairs