Fisheries partnership agreement with Mauritania
In many developing countries, EU fishing interests endanger the subsistence of local fishermen by over-exploiting stocks. This is also the case in Mauritania.
The EU negotiates fisheries partnership agreements with countries all over the world to allow EU fishers to catch fish beyond Europe's over-exploited waters.
The negotiations with Mauritania gave Parliament its first opportunity to use the new powers bestowed on it by the latest version of the European treaties, the Lisbon Treaty.
What was the Greens' position?
The Greens demand that the over-exploitation of stocks off the Mauritanian coast be recognised and measures taken to allow them to recover.
The burden of these measures should not be shifted entirely to local fishermen. Rather, the Mauritanian fishing industry deserves support to enable it to exploit its fishing stocks sustainably.
Fishing by all vessels in Mauritanian waters should be more closely monitored, including in the context of a much needed regional approach to sustainable fishing.
Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
The Greens were in charge of the first step in this dossier, the negotiation of a resolution outlining the Parliament's views on what a good fisheries agreement would include.
This was difficult, since the procedure was novel and the Greens' views on fisheries agreements are not widely shared in Parliament.
In the end we succeeded in negotiating a good compromise. In its resolution, Parliament recognises that Mauritanian waters are overfished and advocates the regional management of fish stocks.
The Commission largely followed this resolution when it negotiated an agreement with Mauritania that ended octopus fishing and moved other fishing areas further away from the coast. More importantly, it added a clause prohibiting other deep water fleets from obtaining more favourable conditions. The agreement, though initially rejected in the Fisheries Committee, was subsequently adopted in plenary.
Which points did the Greens lose?
The Greens consider that this sets a very good precedent for the negotiation of other fisheries agreements.
Lead MEP:Gabriel Mato Adrover (EPP)
Green MEP responsible:Isabella Lövin
Staff contact:Michael Earle (Email)