Cook Islands strike deal with EU

06 Dec 2016
A new partnership starts between the EU and the Cook Islands

A new partnership starts between the EU and the Cook Islands

Fishing operations for EU vessels in the Cook Islands' fishing areas has been given the go ahead. This follows the Cook Islands and the EU agreeing on all elements of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement.

Financial support to be granted by the EU for the development of the Cook Islands’ fisheries sector was defined and the parties discussed fisheries matters to allow for the start of fishing operations.

The new Agreement will allow up to four Union vessels to fish for max 7000 tonnes of tunas per year and other highly migratory species in the Cook Islands’ fishing area.

In return, the EU will pay the Cook Islands €2.87m, €1.47m of which are in exchange for access to the resources, while the rest is specifically earmarked for the local fishing sector.

The Cook Islands will be able to invest €1.4m in the next four years on improving the living standard of small-scale fishermen, reinforcing control and surveillance operations, strengthening the food safety authority and sharpening the sustainability of its fisheries policies.

The Joint Committee also reviewed the procedures for issuing fishing authorisations and catch reporting, as well as the boundaries of the fishing area accessible to Union vessels.

In the margins of the Joint Committee, the Cook Islands’ fisheries administration held a public hearing in which EU officials presented principles and content of the fisheries agreement and of our Common Fisheries Policy to the public at large.

The new Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Cook Islands is an opportunity for both parties to strengthen their cooperation at multilateral level – it is an entirely new partnership.