New Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Mauritius
The European Union and Mauritius initialed today a new Fishery Partnership Agreement (FPA) and Protocol.
The new FPA repeals the previous 1989 Fishery Agreement, and focuses in particular on partnership and sustainability. The FPA establishes the principles and rules governing the economic, financial and scientific cooperation between the EU and the Republic of Mauritius in the fisheries sector. Its aim is to guarantee the conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources and develop Mauritius's fisheries sector.
The Protocol provides the EU with fishing opportunities for vessels targeting tuna species. In return, the EU will pay Mauritius an annual compensation of EUR 660 000, out of which EUR 302 500 is earmarked to support the fisheries policy of Mauritius. Vessel owners will have to pay a license fee to be authorised to fish in Mauritius' waters (as is the case also now).
The new Protocol is based on the scientific advice, to ensure the sustainability of the stocks, and takes into account the interests of artisanal fishermen. To avoid adverse effects on the small scale fishermen, EU vessels will only be allowed to fish beyond 15 miles (currently 12 miles) from the coastal baseline.
The Protocol will be valid for 3 years from the date of its entry into force, i.e. once both parties complete their respective legislative procedures and notify each other of the fact. The Member States with an interest in this Protocol are mainly France, Portugal and Spain.
A clause on the respect of Human Rights has been introduced into the Protocol. Moreover, the new Protocol includes elements of conditionality, relating to the implementation of sectoral policy. It also requires that no other fishing activities than those under the FPA are undertaken by EU vessels in Mauritius' waters.
Both parties expressed satisfaction with the results of the negotiations. The result represents a balanced package that respects the interests of both parties. This new Protocol underscores the continuing strong co-operation between the EU and Mauritius in fisheries, both at bilateral and regional level.