EU-Morocco fisheries partnership strengthened
Commissioner Vella met with the Moroccan Minister of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries, Aziz Akhannouch, to highlight the role of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) in the sustainable development of the local fisheries sector and the wider economy.
The EU has similar fishing agreements with a number of countries across the world which see EU boats able to fish in foreign waters in return for EU investment. As part of each of the EU's SFPAs, there is a significant investment in sectoral support.
In Morocco's case, €14m is earmarked to support the local the fisheries sector, which seeks to provide increased job opportunities for local fishermen, help build a robust infrastructure fisheries, train up local seamen and get them working on EU boats, and exchange ideas and best practice.
During the visit the EU also launched a twinning and investment programme for Morocco's aquaculture sector.
Commissioner Vella also discussed the potential for sustainable blue growth in the western Mediterranean with a range of business leaders and met with a number of Fisheries Ministers from other African countries to promote better ocean governance, in particular the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. ■