Higher licence fees and reduced fishing opportunities, e.g. the exclusion of octopus fishing, cause some MEPs to doubt whether the new protocol to the EU-Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) should be approved. It is "economically unviable", says rapporteur Gabriel Mato Adrover (EPP, ES), who recommends rejecting it in a vote on Tuesday. However, other MEPs support it on the grounds that it is more sustainable.
EU fishing vessels are allowed to catch various species of fish and shellfish in Mauritanian waters in exchange for an EU payment of €70 million a year. Access is granted to vessels from 12 EU countries. Spain is the main beneficiary of the protocol, which is the biggest of the EU’s fisheries agreements in terms of the volume and variety of fisheries products as well as the financial contribution. It is a two-year protocol, covering 2013 and 2014.
Debate: Monday, 7 October
Vote: Tuesday, 8 October