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Fisheries Committee MEPs approve new EU-Mauritius fisheries Protocol

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By Milthon Lujan

The new four-year-deal provides fishing opportunities for 40 tuna seiners and 45 surface long-liners, and a maximum of 20 supply vessels to assist the EU fishing vessels.

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The new Protocol between the EU and the Republic of Mauritius was initialled on 26 April 2017 covering a period of four years. It provides fishing opportunities for 40 tuna seiners and 45 surface long-liners, as well as a maximum of 20 supply vessels to assist the operations of the EU fishing vessels.

The total financial contribution is of EUR 2 300 000 for the entire period (2017-2021) and is divided as follows:

– a reference tonnage of 4 000 tonnes, for which an annual amount linked to access has been set at EUR 220 000;

– support for development of the sectorial fisheries policy of the Republic of Mauritius, amounting to EUR 220 000 annually; and

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– support for the development of maritime policy and ocean economy, amounting to EUR 135 000 annually.

Fishing opportunities allocated among member states

The fishing opportunities established under the Protocol are allocated among member states as follows:

Tuna seiners: Spain (22 vessels), France (16 vessels) and Italy (2 vessels)

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Surface long-liners: Spain (12 vessels), France (29 vessels) and Portugal (4 vessels)

Next steps

The new protocol was approved by fisheries MEPs by 19 votes to 3. It still has to be approved by the full house. The plenary vote is foreseen to take place in April.

Background information

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The first bilateral fishing agreement between the EU and the Republic of Mauritius was done in 1989, and the latest fisheries Protocol started in 2014 and finished on 27 January 2017. Mauritius has a continuously growing economy, which only dropped from 4.6 % annually to 3.2 % during the global economic crisis, with the fishing sector bringing approximately 1.4% of the GDP of the country. The country’s development plan of 2015 includes fishery and ocean economy as one of the main pillars, with due respect for long term management and sustainable exploitation of the marine environment.

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