Morocco and the European Union (EU) on Wednesday signed a new fishing protocol aimed at reinforcing cooperation ties between the two parties, officials in Rabat said.
Both parties have succeeded at the end of the sixth round of talks, held on 18 and 19 July 2013 in Rabat, to reach an agreement on the general principles that guided the negotiations, namely the sustainable use of resources, fixing the compensation on the basis of fishing opportunities to be agreed and strengthened governance, said a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Maritime Fishing.
Concluded for a period of four years, this Protocol shall enter into force upon completion of their respective internal procedures, including approval by the Moroccan and European parliaments.
The new protocol provides six categories of fishing with a reduction in fishing opportunities compared to the old protocol allowing European vessels 126 against 137 in the previous protocol.
The total annual estimated protocol financial compensation amounts to 40 million euros 14 million dedicated to the continued implementation of the plan "Halieutis" for the economic sector strengthening national fisheries while ensuring sustainable management and responsible fisheries.
Agriculture and Marine Fisheries said that the initialing of this protocol is an important milestone in the relations between Morocco and the EU. Since the signing of the Agreement Morocco-EU Association in 1996, agriculture and fishing have always occupied a prominent place in the relations between Morocco and the European Research Area, it added.