The EU has 2 types of fishing agreements with non-EU countries
EU SFPAs infographic (Available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, Published 2015)
EU Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements (Available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, Published 2020)
In exchange, the EU pays the partner countries a financial contribution composed of 2 distinct parts:
The EU has currently 13 SFPAs protocols in force with third countries:
The EU has also 7 "dormant" agreements with Gabon, Madagascar, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Micronesia, Solomon Island. "Dormant agreements" stand for countries that have a fisheries partnership agreement which is still in force but there is no implementing protocol in force. EU vessels are therefore not allowed to fish in waters under the regime of the dormant agreements.
EU fishing activities in the North Sea and north-east Atlantic are closely linked to those of our neighbours – Norway, Iceland and the Faeroe Islands. With many of the targeted stocks shared across boundaries, it makes good sense for all 4 parties to coordinate their activities, especially as the different fleets aren’t necessarily interested in the same stocks.
So many of the stocks concerned are jointly managed, and quotas are exchanged to ensure they’re not wasted. Some of these stocks are managed through the intergovernmental North-East Atlantic Fisheries Convention set up to manage fish stocks in the region, while others are managed through agreements between the coastal states.
These agreements are extremely important to a large section of the EU fleet, especially the agreement with Norway, which covers quotas worth over €2bn.
The agreement with Iceland is "dormant".
€5 300 000
The European Economic Community concluded its first bilateral fisheries agreements in the late 1970's. More than 30 other bilateral agreements were concluded until today mainly with developing States in Africa or in the Pacific. The negotiation of fisheries bilateral agreements resulted from the adoption of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which establishes a legal sovereignty for coastal states over living marine resources in maritime zones within 200 nautical miles from their baselines (the "Exclusive Economic Zone"). As a result, the conclusion of bilateral agreements with third countries appeared necessary to give European Union fleets access to fish stock surplus that are not used by the coastal states' local fleets.
The Common Fisheries Policy, especially its external dimension, establishes a legal framework for EU fishing activities outside the European waters ensuring that these are based on the same principles and standards as those applicable under Union law.
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