Morocco adopts contentious EU-Morocco fish deal
Article image
Yesterday, the Moroccan Parliament unanimously adopted the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement. No wonder. Through the agreement, the EU will pay Morocco to fish in the waters offshore the territory Morocco is illegally occupying: Western Sahara.
Published 11 February 14


The adoption comes at three weeks after the ratification by the Moroccan government, on 21 January 2014.

Mbarka Bouaida, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, once again stressed the importance of the agreement in terms of securing political ties with the European Union. "This protocol defines the means and conditions of the relationship between the two parties in maritime fishing in order to serve national interests, to support political ties with the EU and its members and to ensure the sustainability of the kingdom’s fisheries resources" she was quoted saying in Moroccan media.

However, “the kingdom’s fisheries resources” also include the rich waters of occupied Western Sahara – Morocco’s southern neighbour which the Moroccan monarchy decided to invade and subsequently annex 1975. Spain, Western Sahara’s colonial power that supported the Moroccan invasion, has been lobbying hard for the EU access to both Moroccan and Saharawi waters. The Spanish fishing industry has indicated its eagerness to start fishing, complaining about Morocco’s tardiness in implementing the agreement.

But while the political process is now practically finished – pending publication of the agreement in Morocco’s State Journal – the technical procedures are still to kick-in: creation of a joint technical committee, demand and delivery of fishing licenses, technical visits, etc. The process is expected to take up another month.


Sneak peek on ENGIE's position

For a little while, ENGIE had published on its website hints about who it had actually "consulted" when doing business in occupied Western Sahara.

11 February 14

HeidelbergCement takes side in the conflict

The German building materials giant sides with Morocco in the Western Sahara conflict, avoiding any questions on its own legal obligations in the occupied territory.

11 February 14

Telecom cables laid in occupied waters

The French company Alcatel Submarine Networks SpA, partially owned by Nokia, has laid telecom cables in occupied Western Sahara. 

11 February 14

Report reveals clients of Western Sahara’s conflict mineral

India and New Zealand stand out as the main importers of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara, in WSRW’s newest annual report on the controversial trade. 

11 February 14