This morning, the European Parliament (EP) Committee on Fisheries gave its consent to conclude the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) between the EU and the Kingdom of Morocco. Europêche welcomes the important step forward towards the final adoption of the fisheries deal. The agreement not only promotes sustainable and responsible fisheries for the EU and Morocco, whilst securing mutual benefits, but also contributes to the strict observance of international law. However, a last and critical step is still required, the final approval of the EP in plenary session in mid-February 2019. Europêche calls on all political groups to back the agreement to continue strengthening the good cooperation and business partnership in fisheries with our strategic neighbour which dates back to 1995.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled today that the Fisheries Agreement concluded between the EU and Morocco is valid in so far as it is not applicable to Western Sahara and to its adjacent waters. Considering that around 94% of the catches under the Fisheries Agreement takes place in these waters, this judicial decision clearly disregards the importance of the agreement for the fisheries sector. The EU fishing fleet is nonetheless resolved to continue to strengthen the cooperation and business relations with our strategic neighbour country since the Fisheries Agreement proved to bring about socio-economic benefits for both parties, particularly for the local population in Western Sahara. In this respect, Europêche calls on both parties to negotiate a new Fisheries Agreement.