The Agreement with the Seychelles is the most significant tuna agreement in the Indian Ocean both in terms of the fishing opportunities it provides the EU and, in turn, the financial benefits derived by the Seychelles as a result of the EU fleet's activities in the region.
Given the Seychelles acts as a focal point for the operations of the EU fleet in the Indian Ocean, the protocol is of strategic importance to the EU which sees its relations with the Seychelles as being of leading importance in the region, especially in the context of fisheries. The EU continues to be a major partner for the Seychelles as the fishing activities of the EU fleet provide direct employment opportunities locally and thus generate direct benefits for the Seychelles and its wider economy.
The negotiations were conducted in an open and constructive atmosphere which enabled progress to be made towards the finalisation of the new Protocol and the conditions under which the EU fleet will be able to carry out its fishing activities in the Seychelles' waters.
Both sides emphasised the need for the new Protocol to provide continuity from the existing Agreement so that fishing activities could continue in the Seychelles EEZ without interruption or detrimental impact on either the EU Fleet or local economy.
It is likely that the negotiations will be concluded at the third round of talks to be held in the Seychelles on 9-10 May 2013, where the discussions will focus on the substantial issues relating to fishing opportunities and financial compensation.