Press release – MEPs approve the renewal of the fisheries partnership with Seychelles

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The text was approved Wednesday with 504 votes in favour, 70 against and 112 abstentions.

The new Sustainable Fisheries Partnership agreement and its six-year protocol have applied provisionally since they were signed on 24 February 2020, following the Commission proposal of 7 January 2020.

The protocol provides tuna fishing opportunities for up to 40 purse seiners from Spain, France and Italy, and eight surface longliners from France, Spain and Portugal (for a total of 50.000 tonnes of tuna per year).

The EU’s financial contribution is €5.3 million per year. Of this amount, €2.5 million is payment for the right to access Seychelles waters, corresponding to a reference tonnage of 50 000 tonnes of tuna per year. The remaining €2.8 million provides sectoral support for the development of the Seychelles’ fisheries policy.

MEPs also adopted Thursday an accompanying resolution (597 votes in favour, 37 against and 55 abstentions), which calls for the Seychelles fisheries sector to be more involved in implementing the agreement, and for the overfished yellowfin tuna stocks to be restored through regional measures. The EU’s fleet should do all it can to prevent overfishing. In addition, the resolution criticises the persistent practice of provisionally applying international agreements before Parliament gives its consent.

Background

The EU-Seychelles fisheries agreement, first concluded in 1984 and updated in 1987 and 2006, has been implemented by successive protocols defining the EU’s fishing opportunities and financial contribution. It is one of only two active agreements in the western Indian Ocean region (along with that of Mauritius).

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