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News :: EU and Seychelles successfully initial Fisheries Access Agreement

EU and Seychelles successfully initial Fisheries Access Agreement

(15/11/2013) Delegations from the European Union (EU) and the Seychelles have today successfully initialled a Fishery Access Agreement at a meeting in Victoria, Seychelles, which will allow Seychelles flagged vessels to continue fishing operations in the waters of Mayotte. These waters will become EU waters when Mayotte becomes an outermost region of the EU on 1 January 2014.

The Agreement will allow eight tuna purse seine vessels to operate in the waters of Mayotte under the jurisdiction of the EU for the next six years with the payment of licence and catch fees coming directly from the ship-owners. 

Both sides welcome the agreement which further strengthens the strategic relationship shared by the EU and the Seychelles in the region. This Agreement will further bolster the cooperation and joint efforts to maintain and expand general fishery governance based on the highest standards of sustainability, transparency, control and monitoring of the respective fleets – principles consistent with those of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy.

This common approach will serve as a benchmark for similar types of agreements for access to fisheries resources between sovereign states in the region and for the entire Indian Ocean tuna fisheries management approach.

For the EU this is the first inter-governmental agreement which has provided the right to fish to vessels of a third country in its waters on the payment of fees. These vessels will be subject to the rules and regulations of the Common Fisheries Policy and the conservation and management measures established by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), the body responsible for the management of the tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean.

This also represents a major step forward for the Seychelles as it ensures the continuity of the operations of its fleet, thus contributing to Seychelles’ blue economy. With the Agreement, Seychelles fulfils its obligations as a responsible flag State by enforcing the actions agreed under IOTC to safeguard the sustainability of the resource. These shared principles of good governance, also embedded in the new CFP, are central to the Agreement.

This new Agreement builds on the recently agreed new Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Seychelles.