Prime Minister Domingos Simoes Pereira and EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki met to discuss cooperation issues. (Photo Credit: European Commission)
EU and Guinea Bissau to re-activate fisheries agreement procedures
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 22:30 (GMT + 9)
The European Union (EU) and Guinea Bissau have agreed to resume the ratification process for a fisheries partnership agreement (FPA), which has been suspended sine die following the military coup in Guinea Bissau in April 2012.
There is currently no protocol in force and EU vessels are not allowed to fish in the EEZ of Guinea Bissau.
EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki yesterday met with the newly appointed Prime Minister from Guinea Bissau, Domingos Simões Pereira, and the country's Secretary of State for Fisheries, Idelfonso de Barros.
Prime Minister Simões Pereira took office on 4 July following the legislative and presidential elections of April/May 2014. These elections were a major step to the restoration of constitutional order in the country and towards political stability.
Commissioner Damanaki and Prime Minister Simões Pereira discussed the bilateral and strategic cooperation in fisheries matters between the EU and Guinea Bissau. They agreed to re-activate the ratification procedure of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Guinea Bissau: a three-year protocol was negotiated in 2012 but never entered in to force due to the political situation in the country.
The protocol provides the EU with fishing opportunities for fish (including tuna), cephalopods and shrimp. In return, the EU would pay Guinea Bissau an annual compensation of EUR 9.2 million, out of which EUR 3 million is earmarked to support the fisheries policy of Guinea Bissau. European vessel owners would continue to pay a license fee to fish in Guinea Bissau waters.
The Member States with an interest in this fisheries agreement are mainly France, Portugal and Spain.
Other topics of mutual interest were evoked during this meeting, notably the need to enhance cooperation in the fight against illegal fishing, in matters of transparency and to ensure proper implementation of the EU’s support to the fisheries sector in Guinea Bissau.
Fisheries are an important activity for Guinea Bissau and EU fishermen have an interest in fishing tuna, shrimp, cephalopods and demersals along the coast of the country.