The Spanish government is in the process of finalizing two responses to calls for help from the group of Spanish fishermen and shipowners who will be affected by the end of the fishing agreement between the European Union (EU) and Morocco. Nasser Bourita announced for his part, an upcoming meeting in Brussels.
The government of Pedro Sanchez is going to launch direct financial aid to fishermen and shipowners who will no longer be able to fish in Moroccan waters as of the end of the Morocco-EU fishing agreement and which will have strong repercussions on the Spanish fishing fleet, the main beneficiary of this agreement.
Two aids will be granted, the amount of which has not been revealed and which will be co-financed by the European Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Fund (EMPF).
The Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, announced that he will sign before July 17 the decree to support the vessels that have fished in the Moroccan fishing zone and that will be affected by the end of the agreement.
The Secretary General for Fisheries spoke this Tuesday by videoconference with a representative of the fishing sector and with the autonomous communities of the Canary Islands, Andalusia and Galicia, where the vessels concerned are based to keep them informed. They will have to submit applications to benefit from the aid.
The Secretary General for Fisheries, Isabel Artime, indicated that the conclusion of this agreement between Brussels and Madrid will mean that after July 17, there will be an effective suspension of activity in the Moroccan fishing zone for an indefinite period.
The European parties have found no other way to reactivate the fisheries agreement with Morocco than to await the decision of the European justice on the subject following the appeal presented by the Council of the European Union on December 16 2021, just after a court ruling overturning the agreements.
The Europeans remain convinced and defend the legality of the agreements concluded between Morocco and the European Union, pending the new court decision which will have to be aligned with a probable new agreement between the two parties.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said on Wednesday that a meeting of the Morocco-EU joint committee on fisheries will be held next week in Brussels, confirming the end of the initial 4-year agreement.
“The government is currently reflecting on the strategy to be implemented in the fishing sector”, he added, emphasizing the need to establish a “more advanced, because the current scheme, which consists of receiving financial compensation for the right to fish, is no longer appropriate. Morocco’s objective is to create real added value”.