Europêche unhappy with EU/Mauritania Protocol

23 Jan 2013
Fish Market in Nouadhibou Harbour, Mauritania. Credit: Marco Carè/Marine Photobank

Fish Market in Nouadhibou Harbour, Mauritania. Credit: Marco Carè/Marine Photobank

Commenting on the recent meeting concerning the Protocol between the EU and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Europêche President, Javier Garat, said that vessel owners represented by Europêche were very unhappy with the outcome.

The meeting of the Committee on Fisheries of the European Parliament was held in Brussels on 21-22 January to discuss the latest developments.

Europêche members believe that the contents of the existing protocol are of no use to them, for the many reasons that were conveyed in September 2012 to the Chairman of the Committee on Fisheries of the European Parliament, Commissioner Damanaki and the President of the Council of the EU.

Mr Garat said, “In the present conditions, the Protocol is technically and economically unviable for most of the fleet segments and therefore is a waste of public funds. The Protocol creates serious economic and social consequences not only for ship owners but also for crew members, enterprises and workers who are involved in port activities in the EU.

“The joint scientific Committee and the joint Commission must urgently be convened to solve the existing problems and change the technical and economical conditions, in order to allow the EU fishing sector to go back fishing in the Mauritanian EEZ as soon as possible. If this would not happen, the Commission should make use of Article 5 of the Protocol, denounce it, as fishing opportunities by EU fleets are clearly under-utilised and start negotiating a new Protocol”.

In conclusion he said: “As far as the European Parliament is concerned, we believe that it should not ratify the Protocol as it is not to the EU’s and to Mauritania’s advantage”.

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