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Press releases and News :: New Fisheries Protocol EU – Seychelles

New Fisheries Protocol EU – Seychelles

(13/05/2013) The European Union and the Republic of the Seychelles initialed on 10 May a new Protocol to the EU-Seychelles Fisheries Partnership Agreement.

The duration of the Protocol will be 6 years and will allow the European fleet to continue its fishing activities uninterrupted in the waters of the Seychelles when the current Protocol expires on 17 January 2014.

The conclusion of these negotiations, guarantees the long-term continuity of the most significant tuna agreement for the EU in the Indian Ocean, both in terms of the fishing opportunities it provides the EU fleet and, in turn, the financial benefits derived by the Seychelles as a result of the EU fleet's activities in the region.

The Protocol provides the EU with fishing opportunities for tuna and other highly migratory species for 40 purse seiners and 6 long- line vessels, based on a reference tonnage of 50 000 tons. In return, the EU will pay the Seychelles, for the first two years, an annual compensation of € 5 350 000, out of which € 2 600 000 is earmarked to support the fisheries policy of the Seychelles. For the remaining 4 years, the EU will pay an annual amount of € 5 000 000, out of which € 2 500 000 will annually be provided for sectoral support. Furthermore, the European vessel owners’ fees will be increased, which is fully in line with the reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, where industry has been called to pay a fair and commensurate level of fees for the resource it exploits.

The EU sectoral support has provided significant developments, both in terms of infrastructure improvement, notably through the completion of a new fishing quay, and various other developments to help the semi-industrial fishing fleet in the Seychelles.

This Protocol will reinforce cooperation between the two parties, especially in their fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). Control of fishing activities and catch reporting will be improved due to the agreement to the use of Electronic Reporting System (ERS – Electronic logbooks), in addition to the Vessels Monitoring System (VMS). This will greatly enhance the reliability in the reporting of catches and the provision of accurate scientific data to be used in the development of stock evaluations.

Both parties committed to fully respect all Recommendations made by the Indian Ocean Tuna Organisation (IOTC) and to re-enforce co-operation in this organisation, both to the mutual benefit of the EU and the Seychelles, but also in the wider context of the region as a whole.