In June 2011, WSRW - together with other organisations - issued a first request to the European Commission, soliciting the independent evaluation report of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement become part of the public domain. The Commission has now agreed to release the report. Read it here.
The ex-ante evaluation report by consultancy firm Océanic Développement provides an independent analysis of the previous EU-Morocco fish accord: it reviewed the deal’s implementation between 2007 and 2010.
Yet in 2011, when the European Commission proposed to extend the previous fisheries agreement with Morocco by an additional 12 months, this highly relevant document was not shared with the public opinion. Even European Parliamentarians only had very limited access to the report.
The now released report shows how clearly controversial the agreement was in terms of finances and ecological destruction: it concluded that the agreement was by far the worst of all on-going bilateral agreements in terms of costs-benefits to the Union. Instead of turning a profit as similar EU agreements have done, fishing turnover fell short of the 36.1 million investment by about 6 million euros a year. (See page 93)
EU fishermen landed around 44,000 tonnes of fish a year - 5 percent of Morocco's total catch and a fragment of Europe's 13-million-tonne consumption. "The fleet's contribution ... to meeting the needs of the European market is ... rather marginal," the report said. (See page 91)
Furthermore, the evaluation report pointed out that continued EU fishing would harm the region's fish stocks, which were already exploited and in part overexploited by local fishermen. (See page 96)
On 14 December 2011, the European Parliament put an end to the EU-Morocco fisheries - mostly due to a concern over infringing international law, as most of the fisheries under the agreement took place in the waters off occupied Western Sahara. Nonetheless, the European Commission is currently attempting to negotiate a new fish deal with Morocco, without even mentioning the contentious issue of Western Sahara.Read the evaluation of the contentious EU-Morocco fisheries agreement here.Read the June 2011 joint-letter (initiative by TransparentSea and Client Earth), requesting information on fisheries access agreements.