On 14 October 2016, the EU and the Cook Islands signed a new Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) and an associated Implementation Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities for EU vessels, the financial compensation to be paid by the Union and the modalities of sectoral support to the fishing sector of the Cook Islands. The SFPA marks the beginning of a new partnership given that there has never been a SFPA between the Union and the Cook Islands.
The new 4-year Protocol allows a maximum of 4 EU purse seiners to fish for tuna and other highly migratory species in the Cook Islands' fishing zone up to 7.000 tons per year. In exchange, the EU will pay the Cook Islands an average annual compensation of EUR 367 500 for access, as well as EUR 350 000 per year to support the fisheries policy of the Cook Islands including to reinforce its fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance capacity. Taking into account the contributions from ship-owners, the Cook Islands will receive an estimated total of EUR 5.3 million for the duration of the Protocol.
The fishing opportunities are based on the best available scientific advice, and in line with the conservation and management measures of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). The Protocol outlines the obligations of EU vessels in terms of catch recording and provides for the monitoring, control and surveillance of the activities of the EU fleet, in line with Cook Islands national legislation and the Parties' obligations at the regional level. The Parties will implement a daily electronic recording and reporting as soon as it is agreed by the WCPFC.
The member state with an interest in the new SFPA is mainly Spain.
The Agreement and Protocol are being applied provisionally since the date of their signature. They will enter into force when the necessary procedures for their conclusion have been completed, including the consent of the European Parliament
|Duration of the agreement||8 years (renewable)|
|Duration of the protocol||4 years|
|Nature of the FPA||Tuna Fishery Agreement|
|Financial contribution||1st and 2nd year: 735 000 € out of which 350 000 € to support the fisheries sector
3rd and 4th year: 700 000 € out of which 350 000 € to support the fisheries sector
|Fee for ship owners||1st year: 55 € per ton caught
2nd year: 65 € per ton caught
3rd and 4th year: 70 € per ton caught
|Advances||1st year: 22 000 € / year (reference catch: 400t)
2nd year: 26 000 € / year (reference catch: 400t)
3rd and 4th year: 28 000 € / year (reference catch: 400t)
|Other||Special annual contribution per vessel of 38 500 €|
7 000 t /year
Council Decision (EU) 2016/776 of 29 April 2016 on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, and provisional application of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands and the Implementation Protocol thereto (OJ L 131, 20.5.2016, p. 1)
Council Regulation (EU) 2016/777 of 29 April 2016 concerning the allocation of fishing opportunities under the Implementation Protocol to the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Government of the Cook Islands (OJ L 131, 20.5.2016, p. 39)
Texts of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement and the Implementation Protocol thereto (OJ L 131, 20.5.2016, p. 3)