Here are the consequences on the Moroccan side

Here are the consequences on the Moroccan side

The imminent expiry of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFPA) agreement between the European Union (EU) and Morocco is now raising concerns about its consequences for Moroccan fishing professionals.

The fisheries agreement is of capital, even vital, importance for the 10 beneficiary EU Member States, in particular for the Spanish side, which already recognizes the significant damage that could result from its imminent end. Faced with this situation, the Spanish government is forced to speed up the granting of financial aid to support the fishermen affected. In this context, it is legitimate to ask what the repercussions will be for the Moroccan side.

For further information, MoroccoLatestNews approached professionals in the maritime fishing sector in the Kingdom, including Abdelkarim Foutat, President of the Moroccan Confederation of Coastal Fisheries, who stressed that he ” there are negative effects for the Moroccan side, resulting in the loss of fruitful cooperation with Europe covering all aspects“.

Foutat explained that ” the partnership with the European Union encompasses economic cooperation, scientific research, continuing education, as well as significant financial benefits, which certainly represent advantages whose loss would be negative“.

According to the president of the Moroccan Confederation of Coastal Fisheries, the expiry of the fishing agreement on July 17, that is to say in two days, could lead to an increase in cases of illegal fishing on the Moroccan coasts, which was precisely what the agreement with Brussels sought to combat.

And to add: We will also lose European expertise, in particular Spanish expertise, in the areas of technical cooperation, which has served us well over the years“.

Regarding agreements with other countries such as Japan and Russia, Foutat felt that ” the agreements differ according to each country, and those signed with Brussels are global and cover all aspects, which makes them totally favorable to the Moroccan side“. And to conclude, the expert specified that ” the damage is not limited to the Spanish side, but also results from the loss of fruitful cooperation with the European side“.

For their part, professional fishermen from the city of Dakhla asked ” changes to the agreement in the event of future renewal, in particular with regard to the obligation for European vessels to disclose their catches and to unload their catches in Moroccan ports“.

These professionals have all pointed out, in statements to MoroccoLatestNews, that ” the end of the protocol with Europe on Monday will certainly have negative consequences, but not major ones, because the maritime area in which they fish is far from them, and Moroccan vessels obtain a greater share of the fish stocks“.

In particular, they underlined the need for monitoring of catches made by European vessels along the Moroccan coast, as this would strengthen the fight against illegal fishing and the depletion of marine resources“.


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