More fish for more money - that seems to be the gist of the new EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement
More and more information is emerging about the content of the new EU-Morocco Fisheries Agreement, after the EU Commission and the Moroccan Government initialed the negotiated text yesterday in Rabat.
El País today reports that the EU will pay Morocco around €52 million per year - which is up from 40 million previously. The bulk of that financial compensation, €40 million, will be taxpayers' money, the remainder to be paid by the vessel owners obtaining a license from the Moroccan government.
In return, Morocco is offering an increased number of fishing licenses to the EU fleet: 128 vessels - including 92 from Spain - are up for receiving permits to fish.
Additionally, Morocco has offered a higher quota of small pelagics - which are fished exclusively in occupied Western Sahara.
"Morocco is doing profitable business: selling higher quantities of fish stocks which do not belong to it, for an ever higher price. And the EU Commission is going along with it. This is both an offence to the people of Western Sahara, whose stocks are being depleted without their consent, and to the EU taxpayer, who will need to cough up more money for this unacceptable practice", says Sara Eyckmans of Western Sahara Resource Watch.
The proposed deal still has to be ratified by both the Moroccan and EU legislative institutions. On European side, both the Member States and the EU Parliament have to vote in favour of the text.
Spanish Minister for Fisheries, Luis Planas, has already called upon the Spanish political parties to press their EU representatives to work for a quick approval of the deal. Spain, which has never formally decolonised Western Sahara in line with international law, stands to benefit most from the agreement
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.
At its Annual General Meeting, Siemens Gamesa was as evasive as ever with regard to core questions about the company's involvement in occupied Western Sahara.
The WSRW report P for Plunder 2021 to be published in April 2021 will contain information on all 22 vessels that departed occupied Western Sahara from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.
The German industrial engineering giant is unclear whether it will steer away from future projects in occupied Western Sahara.