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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

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

"Dormant" agreements

The EU has also 6 "dormant" agreements: Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Micronesia, Morocco, 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

Country Expiry date Type Total EU contribution per year Sectorial support per year
Cabo Verde 19.5.2024 Tuna €750 000 €350,000
Comoros  Protocol expired on 31.12.2016.  Agreement denounced
Cook Islands 13.12.2024 Tuna €700,000 €350,000
Côte d'Ivoire 31.7.2024 Tuna €682,000 €352,000 (2yrs) - €407,000
Equatorial Guinea Protocol expired on 30.6.2001
Gabon 28.06.2026 Tuna €2,600,000 €1,000,000
Greenland 21.04.2025 Mixed €13,590,754 €2,931,000
Guinea-Bissau 14.6.2024 Mixed €15,600,000  €4,000,000
Kiribati 1.10.2028 Tuna €760,000 €400,000
Liberia Protocol expired on 8.12.2020
Madagascar 30.06.2027 Tuna €1,800,000 €1,100,000
Mauritania 15.11.2026 Mixed €57,500,000 (access only) €3,300,000 (for the entire period)
Mauritius 20.12.2026 Tuna €725,000 €275,000
Micronesia Protocol expired on 24.2.2010
Morocco Protocol expired on 17.7.2023
Mozambique Protocol expired on 31.1.2015
São Tomé and Principe 18.12.2024 Tuna €840,000 €440,000
Senegal 17.11.2024 Tuna + hake €1,700,000 €900,000
Seychelles 23.2.2026 Tuna €5,300,000 €2,800,000
Solomon Islands Protocol expired on 8.10.2012
The Gambia 30.7.2025 Tuna + hake €550,000 €275,000

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