EU initials new fisheries protocol with Cape Verde
On 22 December, the European Commission on behalf of the European Union initialled a new three-year protocol under the Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) with Cape Verde setting fishing possibilities for EU vessels in Cape Verde's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), along with other conditions. The new protocol foresees a total EU financial contribution of EUR 435,000, and will come into force when the present protocol expires, on 1 September.
The reference tonnage remains unchanged at EUR 5,000 tonnes/year, as does the financial contribution for access rights. The total financial contribution also includes EUR 110,000 specifically to support the Cape Verde fisheries sector, which is EUR 50,000 more than under the present protocol. Fishing possibilities have been adapted to match the real needs of the sector more closely, and will now be available for the following number of vessels; 28 tuna seiners (currently 25); 35 surface longliners (currently 48); and 11 pole-and-line fishing vessels (unchanged). These fishing possibilities are in line with the best available scientific advice on sustainable levels of fishing pressure. The EU and Cape Verde are committed to adopting a multi-annual plan for sustainable and responsible fishing by the end of November 2011. The new protocol can be suspended should either party commit a violation of fundamental human rights and/or democratic principles as they are defined in the Cotonou Agreement.
The EU has had a fisheries agreement with Cape Verde since 1990. The current FPA is mainly utilised by vessels from Spain, Portugal and France, and is part of EU's network of tuna agreements which simplify arrangements for operators pursuing these wide-ranging highly-migratory species in the waters off West Africa.