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New Protocol to EU – Gabon Fisheries Partnership Agreement

(25/04/2013) The European Union and Gabon initialled on 24 April a new Protocol to the EU-Gabon Fisheries Partnership Agreement.

The duration of the Protocol will be 3 years and will allow the European fleet to fish in the waters of Gabon after more than one year of interruption of fishing activities further to the expiration of the previous protocol on 2 December 2011.
 
The Protocol provides the EU with fishing opportunities for tuna and other highly migratory species for 27 purse seiners and 8 pole and line vessels, based on a reference tonnage of 20 000 tons. In return, the EU will pay Gabon an annual compensation of € 1 350 000, out of which € 450 000 is earmarked to support the fisheries policy of Gabon. European vessel owners's fees will be increased. Sectoral support has been significantly increased in relation to the previous Protocol expired in 2011, with the aim in particular of supporting the new Gabonese strategic plan for better fisheries governance, protection of resources and control in its waters named “the Blue Gabon”.
 
This Protocol will reinforce cooperation between the two parties, especially in their fight against IUU fishing. Control of fishing activities and catch reporting will be improved thanks to the use of the Electronic Reporting System (ERS – Electronic logbooks), in addition to the Vessels Monitoring System (VMS).
 
Both parties committed to fully respect all Recommendations made by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). In line with the reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, the Protocol also includes a clause on the respect of human rights.