Brussels: sustainable fishing agreements
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CTA. 2004. Brussels: sustainable fishing agreements. ICT Update Issue 16. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57656
The EU currently has bilateral fishing agreements with 17 ACP countries, enabling European vessels to fish in ACP waters in exchange for financial compensation.
The EU currently has bilateral fishing agreements with 17 ACP countries, enabling European vessels to fish in ACP waters in exchange for financial compensation. Over the years, these agreements have evolved from simple ´pay, fish and go´ contracts to broader fisheries partnership agreements (FPAs) containing ´targeted actions´ that will contribute to the sustainability of fishing activities at the international level. The agreements are in line with the EU´s commitments made at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, including the objective to ´maintain or restore stocks to levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield, with the aim of achieving these goals for depleted stocks on an urgent basis and where possible not later than 2015´.* Targeted actions now represent between 20 and 70% of the financial contributions paid by the EU under FPAs. These actions include supporting scientific assessments of fish stocks, controlling and monitoring fisheries activities, training, and the development of the local fisheries sector. The FPAs also stipulate that European vessels operating in foreign waters must not target species that are overfished or fully fished, or those exploited by artisanal fisheries. They must also comply with national fisheries policies of the third countries, respect conservation needs and follow regulations on, for example, mesh sizes and bycatch limitations. Furthermore, they are required to contribute to local economies such as by employing local seamen or observers on European vessels. In carrying out its targeted actions, the EU recognizes the role of ICTs, particularly communication technologies, in strengthening coordination between local and national authorities involved in fisheries surveillance. Crucially, the EU intends to step up the monitoring of European fishing vessels both in its own waters and in the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of ACP states. In order to ensure that these vessels comply with total allowable catch (TAC) quotas and fleet capacity limits, since 2000 the EU has required all vessels to be equipped with a satellite-based vessel monitoring system (VMS). These systems can track the speed and course of fishing vessels and relay the information to local coastguards (see right). The EU has pledged financial support to ACP countries to establish regional VMS networks, and specific actions for their implementation are included in the FPAs. So far, such agreements have been signed with Angola, Madagascar, Mauritius, Senegal and the Seychelles, and more are likely to follow soon. These encouraging developments indicate that there is a growing consensus among EU Member States and ACP nations of the urgent need to turn the existing patchwork of monitoring, control and surveillance systems - involving many different authorities with many different priorities - into a coherent international management framework that will ensure the sustainability of ACP fisheries. * Communication from the Commission, On an Integrated Framework for Fisheries Partnership Agreements with Third Countries, COM(2002) 637 final. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Gregor Kreuzhuber is a spokesman for Franz Fischler, European Commissioner for Agriculture. For further information, visit http://europa.eu.int/comm/fisheries/policy_en.htm http://europa.eu.int/comm/fisheries/policy_en.htm