Rabat – The Moroccan Committee of Foreign Affairs, National Defense, Islamic Affairs, and Moroccan Expatriates, has finally adopted the draft law approving the Morocco-Russia fisheries agreement, on April 8.
The maritime fisheries agreement between the two countries will replace the 2016 agreement that expired in March 2020. The new four-year agreement is the eighth of its kind since 1992.
The draft law adoption is one of the last steps before the Morocco-Russia fisheries agreement is finalized and fully implemented. The original cooperation agreement was signed on September 14 in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, and on October 14 in Moscow. It was adopted by the Moroccan government council in December 2020.
The last step before fishing activities can begin, is for a joint commission to arrange the technical and financial arrangements, as part of the implementation of the agreement.
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The agreement defines the principles of cooperation in the preservation and exploitation of fishery resources of the Moroccan Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), spokesperson of the Moroccan government Saaid Amzazi said in December.
The agreement establishes the legal framework to allow a fleet of 10 Russian vessels to fish in Moroccan waters beyond 15 nautical miles from the mainland. As part of the agreement, 16 Moroccan sailors per vessel will be employed on a permanent basis.
The authorized quota amounts to 140,000 tons of pelagic fish during the four-year period of the agreement. This quota is dependent on the situation of the resources, determined by the Moroccan National Institute of Fisheries Research (INRH).
A similar fisheries agreement signed between Morocco and the European Union for the 2019-2023 period saw ‘satisfying’ results, during the agreement’s review in 2020. Both sides welcomed “the great quality of their cooperation,” a joint press release announced on December 10, 2020.