EU vessels will be allowed to continue fishing in the Mauritian waters for tuna as EU-Mauritius fisheries protocol extended
• protocol extended for 6 months until the new agreement is finalised
• four EU members will continue to fish for up to 4000 tonnes of tuna
• EU financial contribution of EUR 287,500
EU vessels will be allowed to continue fishing in the Mauritian waters for tuna for additional six months under the same conditions.
European Parliament gave its consent to the extension of the EU-Mauritius fisheries protocol with 555 votes against 25 and 40 abstentions on Tuesday. This ensures that the EU fleet will be able to continue fishing operations in the waters of Mauritius for another six months. Continuation of the agreement should not only provide access to Mauritius fisheries resources for EU vessels from France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, but also to strengthen cooperation between the EU and Mauritius in the area of sustainable fisheries policy.
Fishing for tuna
The Indian Ocean is the biggest source of tuna catches for the EU fleet, mostly Yellowfin and Bigeye tuna. The Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Mauritius allows the EU fleet to fish in the waters of Mauritius for tuna and tuna-like species, for up to 4 000 tonnes a year. It provides access for 40 tuna seiners, 45 surface long liners and a maximum of 20 supply vessels. The six months extension of the protocol allows the EU fleet to fish for up to 2 000 tonnes. In turn, Mauritius will receive EU financial contribution of EUR 287 500 of which EUR 177 500 is reserved for the development of Mauritius’ sectoral fisheries policy.
Cannery industry cooperation
The agreement also aims to strengthen mutual relations between the European Union and Mauritius in the area of sustainable exploitation of fishery resources. EU´s financial support is therefore mainly used for monitoring, control and surveillance but also to support national fisheries management. Besides, EU-Mauritius fisheries cooperation is also developed at the cannery industry level. Around 500 000 tonnes of tuna caught by the EU fleet in all the Indian Ocean annually is processed by the Mauritian cannery industry.
Following the plenary vote, EP Rapporteur Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (Renew, Spain) said:
“This extension allows this fisheries agreement to remain in force until the new one, which has already been negotiated, is finalised. The EU exploits all its fishing opportunities there and has boosted the local industry through the purchase of 50 new small-scale fishing vessels. It has also helped to improve monitoring, control and surveillance, scientific research and support for national fisheries management. The archipelago’s canning industry employs more than 4,000 people. Of these, 64% are women. In short, sustainability and local development. This agreement strengthens a strategic partner for the creation of alliances and the positioning of the EU in the region and, in particular, in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission.”
The protocol to the Fisheries agreement between the EU and Mauritius expired on 7 December 2021 while the process of finalising the new agreement continues. The European Parliament supported a six-month extension of the original protocol with the aim to avoid interruption of the fishing activities for the EU vessels in the waters of Mauritius.
Source: Press Release