The PECH Committee gave a green light to a new protocol to the existing EU fisheries partnership agreement with Gabon
- Opening fishing opportunities for EU vessels in Gabonese waters
- In return – €2.6 million EU’s support, that would also help Gabon to clamp down on illegal fishing
The Committee on Fisheries gave a green light to a new protocol to the existing EU fisheries partnership agreement with Gabon on Wednesday.
With 19 votes in favour, 6 against and 3 abstentions, the Committee on Fisheries backed a five-year long protocol (2021-2026), that sets the necessary details of the implementation of the EU-Gabon Fisheries Partnership Agreement.
It ensures fishing opportunities in Gabonese waters (for 3,000 tonnes of total catches per year) for 27 European (French and Spanish) tuna seiners, 6 pole-and-line tuna vessels and 4 trawlers targeting demersal fish and crustaceans in an exploratory fishery. In return EU would provide financial and technical support (€2.6 million per year) to foster a sustainable fisheries policy in Gabon.
Furthermore, the protocol, which was scrutinised by EP rapporteur Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (Renew, ES), gives better incentives to fight against illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing and enhances EU-Gabon cooperation on sound exploitation of fisheries resources, including through vessels monitoring and the electronic transmission of catch data.
The Parliament is expected to endorse the agreement in a final vote in one of the next plenary sessions. The new protocol is provisionally applied for a period of five years from the date of its signature by both parties.
The EU-Gabon fisheries agreement entered into force in 2007 for a period of six years. It was tacitly renewed and is still in force. In February 2021, the European Union and Gabon established a new protocol to their Fisheries Agreement, after current expired in 2016.
Source: Press Release