The fourth Joint Committee of the sustainable fisheries partnership agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco met on 9 and 10 November 2022 in Rabat.
The current sustainable fisheries partnership agreement (SFPA) and its implementing protocol entered into force on 18 July 2019. This agreement creates a strategic governance framework with Morocco, a key partner of the European Union in the context of the neighbourhood policy. It shall contribute to the conservation of maritime resources, the sustainable development of aquaculture and the economic and social development of the populations living in the areas covered by the agreement.
During this Joint Committee, the parties reviewed fishing activity at the end of the third year of the protocol.
The projects implemented as part of the European Union’s support for the preparation and implementation of the Moroccan strategy for the development of the fisheries sector have recorded excellent progress. With this support, the European Union supports, inter alia, small-scale fisheries, sustainable aquaculture for the benefit of young entrepreneurs and fishermen’s cooperatives, scientific campaigns, as well as safety measures at sea and improving working conditions and protection of seafarers. These projects thus contribute to job creation, capacity building in the sector and training and the integration of women and young graduates into working life.
The Joint Committee has also examined the geographical and social distribution of the financial contribution in order to ensure that the agreement benefits the territories concerned, in proportion to the fishing activity of European vessels.
Finally, the parties discussed the recommendations of the scientific meeting with a view to preserving fishery resources.
Fisheries agreements between the European Union and Morocco started more than thirty years ago in 1988.
The current agreement and its implementing protocol, in force since July 2019, strengthen bilateral relations between Morocco and the European Union and, in particular, in the maritime fisheries sector.
The European Union makes a total financial contribution estimated at €208 million over 4 years (€48,1 million for the first year, €50,4 million for the second and €55,1 million for the third and fourth years), including compensation for access to the fishing zone, support for the Moroccan fisheries sector and payment of fees by shipowners. The implementation of the protocol gives access to approximately 130 vessels flying the flag of 10 Member States of the European Union.
Through its support for the Moroccan fisheries sector, the European Union contributes, in particular, to the promotion of scientific research, the development of aquaculture, the modernisation of fisheries infrastructure, the marketing of fishery products and the economic and social development of coastal communities with a view to sustainable fishing in Morocco.
- Publication date
- 11 November 2022
- Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries