Sustainable fisheries partnership agreement

On 9 December 2015, the European Union and the Republic of Liberia signed a new, 5-year sustainable fisheries partnership agreement (SFPA) and associated 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 Liberia.

The agreement and protocol mark the beginning of a new partnership given that there has never been a SFPA between the Union and Liberia. The new SFPA also further expands the Union's network of tuna fisheries agreements in West Africa.

The new protocol offers opportunities to 28 purse seiners and 6 surface long-line vessels to fish for tuna and tuna-like species in the waters under the jurisdiction of Liberia, based on a reference tonnage of 6 500 tonnes. In return, the EU will pay Liberia an average annual compensation of €650 000, out of which 50% is earmarked to support the fisheries policy of Liberia including to reinforce its fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance capacity.

The EU countries with an interest in the new agreement and protocol are mainly Spain and France.

Following consent of the European Parliament, their conclusion has been approved by the Council on 24 May 2016.

Main features of the SFPA

Duration of the agreement: 5 years (renewable): 9.12.2015 – 8.12.2020
Duration of the protocol:  5 years: 9.12.2015 – 8.12.2020
Nature of the SFPA:  Tuna fishery agreement 
Financial contribution:  1st year: €715 000 out of which €357 500 to support the fisheries sector of Liberia
2nd, 3rd and 4th years: €650 000 out of which €325 000 to support the fisheries sector of Liberia.
5th year: €585 000 out of which €292 500 to support the fisheries sector of Liberia.
Fee for ship owners: 1st year: €55 per tonne caught
2nd and 3rd years: €60 per tonne caught
4th year: €65 per tonne caught
5th year: €70 per tonne caught
Advances:   - Tuna seiners: €7 150 per year (ref catches: 1st year 130t; 2nd and 3rd years 119,17 t; 4th year 110t; 5th year 102,14t)
- Surface long-liners: €2 200 per year (ref catches: 1st year 40t; 2nd and 3rd years 36,67; 4th year 33,85t; 5th year 31,43t)
Reference tonnage: 6 500 t. /year
Fishing possibilities
  Spain France TOTAL
Tuna seiners 16 12 28 vessels
Surface long-liners 6  - 6 vessels


Current legal framework

The agreement and protocol were adopted by Council Decision (EU) 2016/1062 of 24.05.2016 (OJ L 177 of 1.7.2016).

The allocation of fishing opportunities was adopted by Council Regulation (EU) 2015/2313 of 30.11.2015 (OJ L328 of 12.12.2015).