GIS - Feb 24, 2012: A Fisheries Partnership Agreement providing for the necessary framework for an enhanced cooperation in the fisheries sector between Mauritius and the European Union (EU) was signed yesterday afternoon in Port Louis by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries, Mr. Abdool Cader Moosuddee, and the Director of International Affairs and Markets, Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission, Mr. Stefaan Depypere, in the presence of the Minister of Fisheries, Mr. Nicolas Von-Mally, and the Ambassador of the EU in Mauritius, Mr. Alessandro Mariani.
The Fisheries Partnership Agreement establishes the principles and the rules governing economic, financial and scientific cooperation between Mauritius and the EU in the fisheries sector, with a view to guaranteeing the conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources and developing the fisheries sector in Mauritius. Furthermore, the Agreement will cater for fishing opportunities, financial assistance and the promotion of responsible and sustainable fisheries in Mauritian waters.
It also provides for fishing opportunities and conditions that will apply for three years and will provide for a total financial contribution of EUR 1 980 000. The amount corresponds to EUR 357 500 per year, corresponding to the fishing access right equivalent to a reference tonnage of 5 500 tonnes and EUR 302 500 per year, corresponding to a specific amount for the support and implementation of Mauritian sectoral fisheries policy aiming at promoting sustainable fishing in Mauritian waters.
In addition to the economic benefits, the Agreement provides a policy framework and an effective instrument for both parties to oversee and enforce observance of responsible fishing by the operators, and thereby ensuring the sustainability of the tuna fishery in the South West Indian Ocean.
Through this Agreement, Mauritius will also gain support from the EU to implement the Fisheries Master Plan. The Plan will focus on sustainability and profitability of small scale fishermen and sustainable management and development of tuna and other highly migratory resources in the region.
Provisions to avoid any adverse effects on the small scale fishermen activities have also been considered. The fishing activities of the EU fleet will take place only beyond 15 nautical miles of the coast and the possibility of embarking 10 Mauritian qualified seamen on board of EU vessels when operating in Mauritian waters is foreseen.