Renewal of fisheries agreement protocol EU/Guinea Bissau
The European Union initialled today a new one-year protocol to the fisheries agreement with Guinea Bissau.
This protocol maintains the conditions of the current one, i.e. fishing possibilities for 4,400 GRT for shrimp trawlers, 4,400 GRT (gross register tonnage ) for fin-fish and cephalopod trawlers, 23 tuna seiners and longliners, and 14 pole-and-line vessels. The EU financial counterpart amounts to 4,550,000 EUR for the right to fish and 2,950,000 EUR for the support of the fisheries sector in Guinea Bissau. A new clause was added to allow for the suspension of the protocol if there is a breach of human rights and democratic principles. This fisheries agreement allows vessels mainly from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and France to fish in the Guinea-Bissau waters.
Negotiations of this new protocol had been delayed by the consultations held in 2011 between the EU and Guinea Bissau under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement, leaving too little time to the parties for a thorough discussion. The parties decided therefore to maintain the terms of the current protocol for one year while taking the commitment to have a new protocol negotiated by March 2012.
The Commission has requested assurances that the implementation of the sectoral support should improve and regularly monitored. The Commission also stressed the importance to carefully monitor the sustainability of the stock using all scientific advice available to this purpose.