Nieuw visserij-akkoord tussen EU en Madagascar (en)

maandag 26 juni 2006

The European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, and Madagascar, have concluded a new 6-year fisheries partnership agreement (FPA) that will replace the current agreement, due to expire on 31 December 2006.

This new agreement, which exclusively covers tuna, marks a new era in fisheries relationships between the two Parties, founded on a partnership approach which puts the promotion of sustainable and responsible fisheries in Madagascar's waters at the heart of the agreement. It also provides additional fishing opportunities for the European tuna fleet as the number of EU vessels will increase from 80 to 88 vessels, in return for an EU financial contribution of € 990,000 per year.

The FPA will come into force on 1 January 2007. It provides fishing possibilities exclusively on tuna for 88 vessels: 44 seiners (previously 40) and 44 long-liners (40). The annual EU financial contribution of € 990,000 is made up of € 715,000 as compensation for a reference amount of 11 000 tonnes of tuna catches per year, and a specific allocation of € 275,000 to support Madagascar's national fisheries policy. The contribution by vessel owners has been increased from € 25 to € 35 a tonne, and the EU contribution has been reduced in proportion from € 75 to € 65. The technical conditions governing tuna fishing have also been revised to take into account the practices specific to highly-migratory species fisheries (presence of regional observers, obligations to employ fishermen from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, etc.). The contribution from vessel owners will come to € 385,000 if all licences are taken up, making a total contribution of € 1,375,000.

The Government of Madagascar has agreed to dedicate 80 % of the total financial contribution to the promotion of sustainability through their national fisheries policy. To this end, the Parties will engage in an active and ongoing dialogue on the fisheries policy of Madagascar. In addition, both Parties have also undertaken to accelerate cooperation on a regional action plan against Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing, so as to ensure that it is in place and implemented before the end of the year.

The new partnership agreement is founded on in-depth and ongoing cooperation between the EU and Madagascar to promote EU common objectives of conserving fisheries resources and ensuring their sustainable exploitation. As such, the focus will be on a permanent policy dialogue with a view to promoting responsible fishing in Madagascar's waters, supporting scientific cooperation, and strengthening the participation of the private sector and civil society.

Fisheries relations between the EU and Madagascar are currently governed by the seventh protocol extending an agreement originally signed in 1986. Both Parties will now initiate the procedures for final adoption of the FPA.