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 2017)
In exchange, the EU pays the partner countries a financial contribution composed of 2 distinct parts:
The EU has currently 9 active SFPAs protocols in force with third countries:
The EU has also 10 "dormant" agreements with Mozambique, Micronesia, Solomon Island, Gambia, Gabon, Kiribati, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, Cabo Verde and Sao Tomé e Principe. "Dormant agreements" stand for countries which adopted a fisheries partnership agreement without having a protocol in force. EU vessels are therefore not allowed to fish in waters under the regime of the dormant agreements. Comoros agreement, which was also dormant, is currently being denounced.
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.
|Country||Expiry date||Type||Total EU contribution per year||Sectorial support per year|
|Cabo Verde||22.12.2018||Tuna||550 000 €/ 500 000 €||275 000 €/ 250 000 €|
|Comoros||Protocol expired on 31.12.2016. Denunciation process ongoing|
|Cook Islands||13.10.2020||Tuna||385 000 / 350 000 €||350 000 €|
|Côte d'Ivoire||31.7.2024||Tuna||682 000 €||352 000 € (2yrs) - 407 000 €|
|Gabon||Protocol expired on 23.07.2016|
|Greenland||31.12.2020||Mixed||16 099 978 €||2 931 000 €|
|Guinea- Bissau||Protocol expired on 23.11.2017|
|Kiribati||Protocol expired on 15.09.2015|
|Liberia||8.12.2020||Tuna||715 000 €/ 650 000 €/ 585 000||357 500/ 325 000/ 292 500|
|Madagascar||31.12.2018||Tuna||1 566 250/
1 487 500 €
|700 000 €|
|Mixed||61 625 000 €||4 125 000 €|
|Tuna||575 000 €||220 000 €|
|Micronesia||Protocol expired on 24.02.2010|
|Morocco||Protocol expired on 14.07.2018|
|Mozambique||Protocol expired on 31.01.2015|
|São Tomé and Principe||Protocol expired on 22.05.2018|
|Senegal||19.11.2019||Tuna (+ hake component)||1 808 000/
1 668 000 €
|750 000 €|
5 350 000 € in 2014
|2 600 000 €|
|Solomon Islands||Protocol expired on 8.10.2012|
|The Gambia||Protocol expired on 30.06.1996|
|Equatorial Guinea||Protocol expired on 30.06.2001|
|Faeroe Islands||2006 - 2012|
|Norway||2009 - 2015|
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.