Fisheries agreement: when Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal negotiate separately with the EU27

All it took was a dialogue between Ghana and the Ivory Coast, between them producers of 70% of the cocoa bean, for international prices to soar. In the same way as this nascent cartel which should, in our opinion, also include Cameroon, why not urge the signatory countries of fishing agreements with the European Union to join forces to negotiate better? Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal are individually signatories of agreements with the 27 EU countries united in a bloc, with a single team of negotiators and a single imperative: to obtain the maximum amount of fish for the minimum cost.

The agreement between Morocco and the European Union, ratified in February 2019 for four years, offers fishing opportunities to 128 Union vessels and would grant fishing permits to Spain and Portugal for demersal species and to the ‘Spain and France for tuna. The Netherlands, Lithuania and Latvia account for more than 70% of the quotas allocated to large-scale fishing of small pelagics, the remaining percentage being divided between Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland, Ireland, Portugal, France and Spain. The average annual Union contribution is set at 40.15 million euros (an increase compared to the 30 million euros provided for in the previous protocol), of which 19.4 million euros correspond to support sectoral average. The fees applicable to shipowners are estimated at 12 million euros per year on average.

For its part, Mauritania and the European Union, committed to a sustainable fisheries partnership agreement, signed in 2015, expired in 2019 and extended for one year, are at an impasse. The agreement which excludes cephalopods (octopus, reserved for artisanal fishing) mentions a ceiling quantity of 287,050 tonnes of shrimp, demersal, tuna and small pelagics. In return, the Europeans paid under this expired agreement, 61.6 million euros, of which 57.5 million were for access to water and 4.125 million euros intended to support local fishing communities.

As for the fishing agreement binding Senegal to the European Union, it allows 45 European vessels to fish at least 10,000 tonnes of tuna (instead of 14,000 tonnes previously) and 1,750 tonnes of black hake per year ( instead of 2000 tonnes) for a financial contribution of 15 million euros (10 billion FCFA) over five years. In addition, at least 25% of the sailors on board the European fleet are nationals.

These three states which share common waters and the same common ecosystem should, like the European Union, lay the foundations for a policy of sustainable management of resources, relying on the African Union. By negotiating in solo, each his fishing agreement, Rabat, Nouakchott and Dakar his losers against the European ogre, but also against China, Russia, who knows how to play the rivalries and interests of each other to get the best hake at the lowest cost.

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