This year, Morocco will allow Russian boats to trawl for an extra 10,500 tons of fish.
Rabat – Morocco and Russia agreed to extend their fisheries and cooperation agreement into 2019 at a meeting in Agadir this week.
The secretary general of Morocco’s Maritime Fisheries Department, Zakia Driouch, and head of Russia’s Federal Fisheries Agency, Ilya Shestakov, signed the agreement.
The Moroccan-Russian Joint Intergovernmental Commission for Maritime Fisheries agreed earlier this week on an 8 percent increase to Russia’s fishing quotas in Moroccan waters for this year.
For 2019, Morocco increased the authorization for fishing to 140,000 tons of fish, compared to 129,500 tonnes last year.
In 2018, seven Russian fishing vessels were operating in Moroccan waters with some 327 Moroccan fishermen on board, according to Russia Beyond.
The Deep Strategic Partnership sealed in 2016 between Morocco and Russia led to a number of major projects and actions in priority areas such as agriculture, fisheries, energy, industry, and tourism.
In 2018, the third year of the fishing agreement, 10 Russian fishing trawlers were authorized to operate in Moroccan waters off Western Sahara, 15 nautical miles from the coast, according to Les Eco.
In return, Russia will grant Morocco financial compensation of $22 million annually and expert training.
Russia will pay an additional $8 million, consisting of the costs of annual scientific research campaigns, port fees paid to the National Ports Agency (ANP), and employing Moroccan seamen on board Russian vessels.
Morocco aspires to become Russia’s top economic partner in Africa and the Arab world, the Moroccan ambassador to Russia told Sputnik last year. The country ranks second among the Arab countries that trade with the Russian Federation.
Despite Polisario’s threats to appeal to the European Court of Justice and the United Nations to oppose it, Morocco concluded another fishing deal earlier this month with the EU.
The European Parliament approved the Morocco fisheries agreement with 415 votes in favor and 189 votes against.