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Oceans and fisheries

Sustainable fisheries partnership agreements (SFPAs)

Sustainable fisheries partnership agreements (SFPA) with non-EU countries are negotiated and concluded by the Commission on behalf of the EU. 

SFPAs have gained recognition as a benchmark for good fisheries governance. While SFPAs allow EU vessels to fish for surplus stocks in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of third countries, they ensure equal rules, scientific management and social empowerment, with a focus on environmental sustainability, local growth, human rights and shared accountability.

These agreements also focus on resource conservation and environmental sustainability, ensuring that all EU vessels are subject to the same rules of control and transparency. At the same time, a clause concerning respect for human rights has been included in all protocols to fisheries agreements.

Two types of agreements

There are two main types of agreements

  • tuna agreements – allow EU vessels to pursue migrating tuna stocks as they move along the shores of Africa and through the Indian Ocean
  • mixed agreements – provide access to a wide range of fish stocks in the partner country's exclusive economic zone

Protocols in force with third countries

The EU has currently 13 SFPAs protocols in force with third countries

  • 9 tuna agreements: Cabo Verde, Ivory Coast, Sao Tomé e Principe, Gabon, Cook Islands, Seychelles, Mauritius, Senegal and The Gambia (with a hake component for the last two)
  • 4 mixed agreements: Greenland, Morocco, Mauritania and  Guinea-Bissau

"Dormant" agreements

The EU has also 7 "dormant" agreements: Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Micronesia, Mozambique, and Solomon Islands. "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. 

List of fisheries agreements

CountryExpiry dateTypeTotal EU contribution per yearSectorial support per year
Cabo Verde19.5.2024Tuna€750 000€350,000
Comoros Protocol expired on 31.12.2016.  Agreement denounced
Cook Islands13.11.2021Tuna€735,000 / €700,000€350,000
Côte d'Ivoire31.7.2024Tuna€682,000€352,000 (2yrs) - €407,000
Equatorial GuineaProtocol expired on 30.6.2001
Gabon28.06.2026Tuna€2,600,000€1,000,000
Greenland31.12.2020Mixed€16,099,978€2,931,000
Guinea-Bissau14.6.2024Mixed€15,600,000 €4,000,000
KiribatiProtocol expired on 15.9.2015
LiberiaProtocol expired on 8.12.2020
MadagascarProtocol expired on 31.12.2018
Mauritania15.11.2021Mixed€61,625,000€4,125,000
Mauritius7.12.2021Tuna€575,000€220,000
MicronesiaProtocol expired on 24.2.2010
Morocco17.7.2023Mixed€208 million over a 4 year period€17.9 - €20.5 million
MozambiqueProtocol expired on 31.1.2015
São Tomé and Principe18.12.2024Tuna€840,000€440,000
Senegal17.11.2024Tuna + hake€1,700,000€900,000
Seychelles23.2.2026Tuna€5,300,000€2,800,000
Solomon IslandsProtocol expired on 8.10.2012
The Gambia30.7.2025Tuna + hake€550,000€275,000

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