The joint committee on the Morocco-EU sustainable fisheries partnership agreement held its second session on December 8-9 to review the agreement’s results in 2020.
Both the Moroccan and the European sides welcomed “the great quality of their cooperation,” a joint press release announced on December 10.
The current Morocco-EU sustainable fisheries partnership agreement, commonly known as the Morocco-EU fisheries agreement, runs from July 18, 2019, to July 17, 2023.
The agreement allows 128 European vessels from Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, and the UK to fish in the Moroccan exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Atlantic Ocean.
The EU, meanwhile, will make a total financial contribution of €208 million ($252.25 million) to Morocco over the four-year period of the agreement.
During the recent meeting, Moroccan and European representatives expressed satisfaction with the outcomes of the agreement’s first year. They welcomed the fact that the fishing sector was able to maintain its activity despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two parties reviewed whether the European vessels respect all the requirements and limitations presented in the Morocco-EU fisheries agreement.
The partnership defines specific zones where European countries are allowed to operate and the specific species they can fish.
The joint committee also reviewed the progress of fishing projects in Morocco financed by the EU.
According to the agreement, a part of the European financial contribution must go to fishing projects in Morocco.
In its first year (from 2019 to 2020), the agreement helped allocate a budget of €17.9 million ($21.71 million) to improve the fishing sector in Morocco.
The Morocco-EU scientific committee announced during the meeting that the vast majority of the agreement’s fishing projects have been achieved.
This allows the EU to unlock 98.1% of the budget allocated to support the sector in the second year—approximately €18.4 million ($22.32 million).