Procedure : 2012/0258(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0184/2013

Texts tabled :

A7-0184/2013

Debates :

PV 07/10/2013 - 17
CRE 07/10/2013 - 17

Votes :

PV 08/10/2013 - 9.9

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2013)0399

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31 May 2013
PE 496.662v02-00 A7-0184/2013

on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the Protocol setting out fishing opportunities and the financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for a period of two years

(15777/2012 – C7-0419/2012 – 2012/0258(NLE))

Committee on Fisheries

Rapporteur: Gabriel Mato Adrover

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON BUDGETS
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the Protocol setting out fishing opportunities and the financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for a period of two years

(15777/2012– C7-0419/2012 – 2012/0258(NLE))

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the draft Council decision (15777/2012),

–   having regard to the Protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for a period of two years (15781/2012),

–   having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 43(2) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C7-0419/2012),

–   having regard to Rules 81 and 90(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Fisheries and the opinions of the Committee on Development and the Committee on Budgets (A7-0184/2013),

1.  Declines to consent to conclusion of the Protocol;

2.  Instructs its President to notify the Council that the Protocol cannot be concluded;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Mauritania is a country with a nomadic population which, despite having some of the richest fishing grounds in the world, has no fisheries tradition. Mauritania’s industrial fishing fleet is 80% Chinese, while its small-scale fishing fleet is largely Senegalese. The lack of a national fishing fleet possibly stems from the nomadic nature of its population and the shortage of financial resources and political will. The upshot of this is that Mauritania has chosen to cede exploitation of its fisheries resources to foreign fleets – among them the EU fleet.

In economic terms, fisheries represents 50% of export revenue and 29% of GDP. Most of the export and processing companies are public-private undertakings. Fishery also provides a large number of jobs, accounting for 36% of employment in the modern sector of the economy.

The EU should, in its relations with Mauritania, assist the economic and social development of that country, with a view to creating conditions propitious to foreign investment. The EU should also provide sector-specific assistance to ensure that Mauritania can manage its fish stocks in a sustainable way and is able to combat illegal fishing by applying the principles of good governance and respecting the internationally-applicable rules of the Law of the Sea.

Much of that assistance might come directly, through an appropriate fisheries agreement and protocol under which the EU has access solely to excess resources that the country is not going to exploit, in order to ensure food security(1). Fish stocks should be exploited at levels that will generate the maximum sustainable yield, with the introduction of technical measures to guarantee their long-term exploitation and effective monitoring measures to prevent illegal fishing.

These conditions should apply to all fleets operating in Mauritanian fishing grounds so as to guarantee uniform fishing arrangements and a level playing field for all, with the EU being granted preferential terms in relation to excess stocks. This requires transparency on the part of Mauritania with regard to the bilateral fisheries agreements concluded with third countries.

The EU will coordinate its policies to ensure that these are cohesive and allow its values and principles to remain at the forefront of its external actions. In that respect, the EU (and its Member States via cooperation bodies) offers substantial assistance to Mauritania, which is provided through various types of support programmes(2). It should be made clear that the sector-specific assistance under a fisheries agreement is not the only form of assistance that Mauritania receives from the EU.

The following factors should be taken into account when appraising the new fisheries protocol:

-    Fishing opportunities for excess stocks, and priority access for the EU fleet;

-    Application of the technical conditions under the protocol to all foreign fleets, in order to avoid discrimination and to ensure profitable fishing operations and sustainability; Any change in those conditions compared with the previous protocol to be subject to an impact assessment (e.g. possibility of landing catches in the Canary Islands);

-    The financial contribution will be adjusted in line with the fishing opportunities, with proportionate private-sector contributions being made by ship owners.

Assessment of the new fisheries protocol

This is unarguably the biggest of the EU’s fisheries agreements in terms of the volume and variety of fisheries products, and in terms of the financial contribution. On 26.7.2012, the Commission initialled the fisheries protocol with Mauritania after 15 months of negotiations, for an initial period of two years. The Council was obliged to sign that protocol into force provisionally on 3.12.2012, at the request of the Commission, which was worried that part of the budget for it would otherwise be lost. Mauritania signed the protocol on 16.12.2012, which was the date on which it entered into force provisionally, pending its approval by Parliament.

The new protocol is worth EUR 110 per annum, EUR 70 million of which is to be paid by the EU (EUR 67 million per annum for access to fish stocks and EUR 3 million per annum in sector-specific support). The remaining EUR 40 million per annum will be contributed by the fishing industry in the form of fishing licence fees.

Access will be granted to vessels from 12 Member States: Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, France, the United Kingdom, Malta, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. It is the catch quantity, rather than the number of vessels, of course, that is most important(3).

There are eight catch categories: pelagic species, demersal species and hake, shellfish (shrimps and prawns, Norway lobster, lobster and crab) and tuna. There is a cephalopod category, for which the fishing opportunities are zero.

The protocol grants recognition of priority access for the EU fleet and non-discrimination and respect for human rights in Mauritania.

Fishing opportunities and technical conditions

The main point is the introduction of a generalised system of quotas, as opposed to fishing effort based on vessel tonnage. This will lead to continual conflicts with the local authorities over the weighing of catches.

Cephalopods: There is no access to this fishery, although there is provision for the situation to be reviewed after the protocol has been in force for one year. That is unlikely, since the Commission has stated that the current protocol is the best outcome that could be obtained. It is difficult to imagine the situation improving once the actual payment has been made. There is no justification for the Commission not attuning the level of the contribution to this very significant and costly reduction in fishing possibilities (while leaving the door open for negotiations on a subsequent upwards adjustment, once quotas have been set for this category).

The Spanish Oceanographic (Institute Instituto Español de Oceanografía – IEO), which is a body recognised under the protocol, has recently produced a report on the situation concerning octopus, which shows that the conservation status of this species is not poor, but in fact almost at maximum sustainable yield biomass levels (32 000 tonnes), on the heels of a c. 30% reduction in the fishing effort in recent years. However, this study was not taken into consideration by the Commission, which instead drew on an assessment by the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) that was based on statistics from 2008.

The IEO report would seem to invalidate point H of the European Parliament’s Resolution of 12 May 2011(4), according to which the fisheries agreement with Mauritania had contributed to the overexploitation of octopus, and therefore reduced fishing opportunities for Mauritanian fishermen and given the EU industry a competitive advantage. Catch data for recent months show there to be a great abundance of octopus and other species, which has driven down their market prices.

In its report, the STECF itself states that 200 Mauritanian freezer trawlers, most of which operate under the flags of other nations, and a sizeable small-scale fleet of some 900 dugout canoes continue to fish for octopus in Mauritanian waters. It should be borne in mind that those 200 vessels, which represent not a state investment or investment by local Mauritanian communities, but the economic interests of foreign countries, have priority access to cephalopod resources over the EU fleet. This is a source of discrimination against the EU fleet, which should have priority treatment when it comes to excess stocks.

It should be emphasised that the previous protocol provided for 32 cephalopod boats, 24 of which were Spanish and based at Las Palmas de Grand Canaria. Those vessels now have nowhere to fish, after already having been moved on from the fishing grounds off Morocco.

Pelagic species: The limits of the pelagic fishing zone have been shifted from 13 to 20 miles offshore and concerns fresh and freezer trawlers. Fishing opportunities have been increased from 250 000 to 300 000 tonnes (the Commission had proposed 125 000 tonnes). The Commission’s demand that a management plan be introduced for these species, which according to the Joint Scientific Committee report of November 2011 are in a precarious position, has met with no response.

One fundamental issue to be clarified is that of determining excess stocks. The Commission seems to be last in the queue as regards the allocation of such stocks, which are first divided up among other fishing powers operating in Mauritania. This contravenes the protocol, under which the EU is granted preferential treatment, and is also detrimental to the interests of the EU fleet.

All catches of fresh pelagic fish must be landed in Mauritania, with 2% of those catches being offered free of charge on the local market to help ensure food security. Civil society bodies in Mauritania have criticised this arrangement and pointed to the need to assess the impact that the landing of those catches will have on the price of fish caught by local fishermen.

The requirement to land catches in Mauritania should not have been included in the protocol without an assessment first being conducted of the social and economic impact of the losses this new measure will occasion in the Canary Islands, which is an outermost region and where the catches have been landed to date(5).

As regards frozen catches of pelagic species, there is a requirement to transship such fish with the aim of tightening up catch inspections. However, this is illogical, since transshipments encourage illegal fishing, while the inspections are redundant as they can be conducted on vessels as they leave the fishing zone. It is clear that this is solely an income-raising rule that adds to the financial contribution.

These technical conditions make fishing unprofitable for the pelagic fishing fleet, which is not taking up these fishing opportunities and has demonstrated its unanimous intent not to do so.

Demersal species (including black hake): The fishing zone starts six miles further from the coast than it did under the previous protocol and the by-catch limit has increased from 25% to 30%. There is a general requirement to land all catches.

For demersal fish other than black hake, the 10% by-catch allowance has been maintained, while the 5% by-catch limit for shellfish, squid and cuttlefish under the previous protocol has been abolished. Furthermore, the ban on by-catch of octopus and hake has been lifted (contrary to the limits imposed on shellfishermen and the absence of quotas for cephalopods).

A fee of EUR 105/tonne has been set for demersal species, with a TAC of 2 500 tonnes and a maximum of nine vessels that can be authorised. In the case of black hake, the cost of the licences will be increased by up to 400%, depending on the vessel, as compared with the previous year. The fee will be EUR 90/tonne, with a TAC of 4 000 tonnes, and a maximum limit of 11 vessels. There is only space for two vessels, with these being those present in the fishing ground.

Compulsory landings in Mauritania will increase private costs owing to taxes and charges for port services. This is coupled with a requirement to hire Mauritanian fishermen as 60% of a crew, when most of them lack sufficient training, with all the ramifications that has for safety on board and efficient fishing operations. Moreover, fishing is not a common activity in Mauritania, but rather a way out of poverty and a means of managing migration. If this measure is to be effective, it should not be based on a nationality requirement.

Another additional cost arises from the requirement for an on-board satellite vessel monitoring system (VMS) (in addition to the one required by the EU) to enable twin transmission on an experimental basis.

Shellfish (shrimps and prawns): The exclusion area runs from between 6 miles and 8 miles from the coast, although to the north the border now follows a slightly different bathymetric criterion. Half of the fleet – with a minimum of 10 vessels – operating at any time in the southern sector of the fishing grounds could fish up to the 6 mile limit.

The change in the fishing zone constitutes a major loss of income for the sector since the most productive parts of the prawn fishing grounds are located in the adjacent areas, and there are no scientific reports indicating over-fishing of the species in question to justify altering its boundaries. In the northern sector of the fishing ground, the protection polygon has also been altered, which has reduced the area that can be fished. This will result in a reduction in prawn catches of around 21.6%.

There are also restrictions on by-catch. Cephalopods cannot be fished, by-catches of fish have been reduced from 20% to 10%, and those of crab from 7.5% to 5%. This 30% fall in turnover makes economically viable fishing impossible. It may also trigger an increase in discards of species which cannot be fished at present, but which would inevitably be caught.

The simultaneous presence mechanism applicable in the southern sector between the 6 and 8 mile limits will create huge administrative problems as regards deciding which vessels are entitled to avail themselves of that right at any given moment.

Crab: The fishing zone no longer extends to the south of the 17º 50 parallel, as it did in the previous protocol, and the number of pots per vessel has increased from 250 to 500. In other words, the fishing effort will be concentrated in a smaller area. In view of the TAC, only one vessel could operate.

Tuna and surface longlines: No major changes. As a result of this, almost all the licences applied for from 1 August to date are for these categories, which are the only ones not affected by the new protocol.

It should be added that under the protocol, all fuel must be supplied by the national undertaking holding a monopoly at a price higher than the market rate (which in the case of shellfishing vessels means an additional EUR 45 000 per vessel per annum).

Financial contribution and sector-specific assistance

The financial contribution is much larger than under the previous protocol, for reduced fishing opportunities, bearing in mind that it no longer applies to the cephalopod category. The protocol is costly and imbalanced. Moreover, there are no grounds for reviewing the private-sector contribution made by ship owners if the fishing opportunity has been reduced and the technical conditions are stricter.

Under the previous protocol, EUR 11 million per annum was provided in sector-specific assistance. The Mauritanian Government did not invest that sum as it should have, so the EU has decided to reduce the amount under the new protocol to EUR 3 million per annum (even if the amounts payable by the private sector in the form of fees are markedly higher – an increase of 300% to 400% over the previous protocol). That sector specific assistance will be channelled along three axes: scientific cooperation and training, monitoring and the environment.

Rapporteur’s additional remarks

The term ‘fisheries partnership agreements’ should continue to be applied in the case of sustainable fisheries agreements, as these refer explicitly to the signatory countries and to the balanced relationship they establish. These agreements must encourage fisheries activities in third countries to be developed in a sustainable manner and on the basis of mutually-satisfactory arrangements, as well as ensuring that any investments made by the EU’s private fishing sector are secure investments.

They should also allow for the participation of private-sector EU investors in the form of joint undertakings aimed at helping to implement responsible fisheries practices, social and economic development and technology transfer.

Above all, however, one must not forget that fisheries partnership agreements are highly commercial in nature, and their aim is to enable the EU fleet to supply the Community market, with a secondary consideration being the cooperation the EU offers in the form of sector-specific assistance to strengthen fisheries management in the maritime state.

On another point, the legal basis for the Council adopting a decision on the conclusion of the protocol between the EU and Mauritania has to be Article 43(2), relating to Article 218(6)(2)(a) TFEU, and not, as per the recent Council amendment, Article 43(2) TFEU.

The legal basis should be one that allows the Council to empower the Commission to negotiate on behalf of the EU a fisheries protocol that includes a set of measures such as fishing opportunities, technical measures, monitoring measures and the financial contribution, in a manner consistent with the aims of the common fisheries policy. It follows that the legal basis should be Article 43(2), which enables all these things to be negotiated.

Conclusion

The general view of the national administrations and the fisheries sector is that this protocol is costly in comparison to the fishing opportunities it permits and the technical conditions it imposes, making it economically unviable. As a result, with the exception of tuna fishing vessels (for which the technical conditions have not changed) and a few hake trawlers (which will only operate for brief spells), the EU fleet has not applied for provisional licences under Regulation 1006/2008.

The protocol is a bad one for several reasons:

-    no access is granted to the cephalopod fishing fleet, meaning that 32 vessels will be left with nowhere to fish and no alternative fishing area, without there being any biological reason for this;

-    decrease in the fishing areas accessible to each fleet, including the pelagic fleet, with, as a corollary, a drastic reduction in catches;

-    change in the pelagic, shellfish and hake sectors, from management based on fishing effort by tonnage to management by quotas with a limit on vessel numbers;

-    higher costs for the EU and for ship owners, for whom it will in some cases increase costs by 300-400 %, for an unequal return;

-    additional indirect costs which will also increase the cost of the agreement, arising from the obligations to: land and transship catches in Mauritania, hire a minimum of 60% Mauritanian crew members, refuel in Mauritania and carry a second VMS system.

In short, this fisheries protocol:

-    is not to the EU’s advantage, since the operating conditions applicable to the fishing opportunities granted make it economically unviable, as is shown by the absence of vessels in the fishing grounds;

-    is not to Mauritania’s advantage either, since the fact that the EU fleet is not fishing there will deprive it of a large proportion of the financial contribution, and of the income generated in local coastal communities through its operations and the wages paid to crew members, etc.

It follows that this fisheries protocol should be rejected. After the decision has been taken not to ratify it owing to the lack of fishing opportunities it offers and the unfair technical conditions it imposes, the applicable conditions should be revised by negotiating a new agreement, rather than by the joint committee once the protocol has entered effect and the contribution has been paid. Once that financial contribution has been made, Mauritania will stand to gain nothing from making the technical conditions more favourable, and will therefore have no motive to do so.

(1)

In accordance with Article 62 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

(2)

Mauritania received EUR 150 million, and EUR 3.2 million in emergency aid under the ‘Mauritania Strategy 2008 2013’ which targets investment in governance, infrastructure and regional integration. The EU has provided Mauritania with EUR 52.8 million (EUR 25 million in 2011) under the Sahel Security and Development Strategy, to combat terrorism. EUR 337 was provided in 2012 under the EU programme to alleviate the food crisis in the Sahel, while EUR 19 million was granted in humanitarian aid in response to the influx of refugees from Mali.

(3)

The catch quantity has been set at 307 400 tonnes for pelagic species, crustaceans and hake.

(4)

Resolution 2012/C 377 E/11

(5)

In direct economic terms, fishing operations generate a direct revenue of EUR 40 million per annum for the Canaries. In terms of jobs, the sector provides direct employment for 2 750 people, including crews and workers at fishing ports. Moreover, fisheries is one of the islands’ main export industries, and was worth EUR 115.3 million in the financial year 2011. The fact should not be overlooked that the Canaries are an outermost region to which special arrangements apply under the Treaty. The Commission itself has promoted a series of actions to help develop the outermost regions and has pledged to take the interests of those regions into account when negotiating trade and/or fisheries agreements with their neighbouring countries.


OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT (20.2.2013)

for the Committee on Fisheries

on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the Protocol setting out fishing opportunities and the financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for a period of two years

(15777/2012 – C7-0419/2012 – 2012/0258(NLE))

Rapporteur: Gesine Meissner

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

Mauritania is one of the poorest least developed countries in the world, ranking 156 out of 187 on the Human Development Index 2011. The country is financially depending on foreign aid and highly indebted.

The political situation in the country can be considered as unstable. The actual president himself, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, overthrew in a coup d'etat in August 2008 the former government and succeeded as elected president in July 2009. On 14 October 2012 he got hurt after a military patrol fired on his convoy.

Additionally the country has been affected by terrorist activities over years. In particular al-Quaeda is operating in the country's desert zone. The situation has become more serious after the military coup by militant Islamists in Mali in March 2012.

The country's economy is highly dependent on agriculture and most of the work force is employed in this sector. However, the main exports are iron ores and fish. Although the country is mainly deserted, the nation's coastal waters along the 753 kilometres of coastline are among the richest fishing areas in the world.

The Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) between the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania dates from 1 August 2006 and has been implemented by two successive protocols. The last one expired on 31 July 2012. Since 1 August 2012 the Commission transmits fishing applications received from Member states to Mauritania directly. This interim arrangement will end in January 2013.

On a basis of a mandate from the Council the European Commission negotiated with the Islamic Republic of Mauritania a new Protocol. It was initialled on 26 July 2012. The new Protocol covers a period of two years from the date of its signature.

The new Protocol grants the EU vessels priority access for harvesting available surpluses in Mauritanian fishing zones. It also aims to establish a sustainable fisheries policy within these fishing zones.

The financial contribution of the EU provided for in the new Protocol is disclosed as follows:

(a) an annual amount for the access by EU vessels to the Mauritania exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of EUR 67 million.

(b) a specific amount of EUR 3 million per year to the implementation of a national responsible and sustainable fishing policy.

The financial contribution for the access to the Mauritanian EEZ will increase significantly compared to the amount provided in the expired Protocol. However, the amount for the sectoral support will be cut from 20 million euro the last year to 3 million euro per year. Hence, the total financial contribution will be the same as agreed for the period 2011-2012.

The FPA between the EU and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania is financially the most important agreement with a third country, followed by the FPA with Greenland and before the FPA with Morocco which is not renewed so far. It counts for almost half of the whole EU budget for FPAs with third countries.

Fishing opportunities have been reduced compared to the previous Protocol. These reductions are the consequence of findings that most fish stocks in Mauritania were either fully exploited or over-exploited. The new quantities were set based on scientific advice and on Mauritanian demands to strengthen the local coastal communities and small scale fisheries.

In particular the exclusion of cephalopod is remarkable. It was argued that the species was overexploited by the foreign fleet as well as that there is sufficient local fleet capacity in the small scale and coastal fisheries of Mauritania to fish these resources. To strengthen the local fishery sector it was also agreed to extend the distance of the fishing zone for pelagic fish: pelagic trawlers will have to keep 20 mile distance from the shore. It is estimated that this will reduce by-catches considerably.

Your rapporteur welcomes in particular the obligation to land 2 % of the catches of small pelagic fish in Mauritania for local population. However, the impact of this measure on the price of catches by local fishermen has to be looked at carefully.

Finally, your rapporteur is concerned about the problems that the FPA might cause on the European fleet and fishing industry as well as on the Mauritanian seamen who used to work on these vessels. She is concerned about the consequences of the important rise of the ship-owner's fees according to the catches.

Having said that, your rapporteur welcomes the FPA which conditions are negotiated according to the principle of Policy Coherence for Development and the integrated framework for fisheries partnership agreements with third countries of 2002, and is in line with the external dimension of the future Common Fisheries Policy. Fisheries agreements between the EU and third countries shall not only guarantee the access for EU vessels to exclusive economic zones of developing countries but rather be the basis of partnership, development policy and sustainable fisheries. Therefore FPAs shall use only surplus stocks in their coastal waters and should take in consideration the importance of fish as part of nutrition in developing countries.

Finally your rapporteur would like to draw your attention that the ex-post assessment of the former FPA acknowledges that, for the EU, the FPA has had a modestly positive cost, as the benefit ratio was just between 1.4 and 1.5. However, as the conditions of the new Protocol have changed considerably the new benefit ratio will be different.

******

The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on Fisheries, as the committee responsible, to propose that Parliament give its consent.

The Committee on Development considers that the Commission should duly take into account the following points during the implementation of the Protocol:

(a) The Commission should urge the Islamic Republic of Mauritania to use the yearly amount to the implementation of a national responsible and sustainable fishing policy to improve the landing facilities in the country so EU vessels can also land their catch in Mauritanian ports other than Nouakchott, for the promotion of women entrepreneurship in the fisheries sector, and for monitoring and surveillance activities, as well as stock assessment.

(b) In particular, it shall be controlled that the exclusion of cephalopods from the scope of the FPA has a significant effect on the recovery of the stocks and will not lead to a fishing overcapacity by the Mauritanian fleet.

(c) Encourages the Commission to discuss with Mauritania the development of long-term fisheries management plans which would include all fishery allocations by the Mauritanian authorities to both its national fleet and third-country fleets.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

19.2.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

13

10

1

Members present for the final vote

Thijs Berman, Michael Cashman, Ricardo Cortés Lastra, Véronique De Keyser, Nirj Deva, Leonidas Donskis, Charles Goerens, Mikael Gustafsson, Filip Kaczmarek, Michał Tomasz Kamiński, Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez, Gay Mitchell, Norbert Neuser, Jean Roatta, Birgit Schnieber-Jastram, Michèle Striffler, Alf Svensson, Keith Taylor, Eleni Theocharous, Patrice Tirolien, Anna Záborská

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Philippe Boulland, Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Gesine Meissner


OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON BUDGETS (5.3.2013)

for the Committee on Fisheries

on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the Protocol setting out fishing opportunities and the financial contribution provided for in the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for a period of two years

(15777/2012 – C7-0419/2012 – 2012/0258(NLE))

Rapporteur: François Alfonsi

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

On the basis of powers conferred on it by the Council, the Commission conducted negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Mauritania with a view to renewing the Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. On 26 July 2012, at the end of those negotiations, a new Protocol was initialled. The new Protocol covers a period of two years from the date of its signature.

The main aim of the Protocol to the Agreement is to provide fishing opportunities for vessels of the European Union in the waters of Mauritania within the limits of the available surplus. The Commission has, among other things, taken account of the opinion of the Scientific Committee set up under the Agreement.

The general aim is to strengthen the cooperation between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania with a view to establishing a sustainable fisheries policy and sound exploitation of fisheries resources in Mauritanian fishing zones, in the interests of both parties.

The overall financial contribution of EUR 140 million provided for by the Protocol over the entire period is made up of: (a) a financial contribution of EUR 67 million for access to the fisheries resources, and b) EUR 3 million in development aid for the Islamic Republic of Mauritania's sectoral fisheries policy. This support meets the objectives of the national fisheries policy.

Type of expenditure

2012

2013

TOTAL

Preservation and management of natural resources

70 000 000€

70 000 000€

140 000 000€

TOTAL

70 000 000€

70 000 000€

140 000 000€

The BUDG Committee believes the following issues should be taken into account when implementing the agreement:

      •  an evaluation should be made each year to establish whether Member States whose vessels operate under the Protocol to the agreement have complied with catch reporting requirements; where the provisions are not complied with the Commission should refuse applications for fishing authorisation submitted by those countries for the following year;

      •  a report should be submitted each year to Parliament and the Council on the results of the multiannual sectoral programme described in Article 6 of the Protocol and on

      •  compliance by the Member States with the requirement to declare catches; an ex post evaluation of the Protocol, including a cost-benefit analysis, should be submitted to Parliament and the Council before the Protocol expires or before negotiations for its possible replacement begin.

*******

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on Fisheries, as the committee responsible, to propose that Parliament give its consent.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

4.3.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

23

10

1

Members present for the final vote

Marta Andreasen, Richard Ashworth, Reimer Böge, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Jean-Luc Dehaene, Göran Färm, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Salvador Garriga Polledo, Jens Geier, Ivars Godmanis, Ingeborg Gräßle, Lucas Hartong, Jutta Haug, Monika Hohlmeier, Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska, Anne E. Jensen, Ivailo Kalfin, Jan Kozłowski, Giovanni La Via, Claudio Morganti, Vojtěch Mynář, Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar, Dominique Riquet, László Surján, Helga Trüpel, Derek Vaughan, Angelika Werthmann

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Edit Herczog, Jürgen Klute, María Muñiz De Urquiza, Georgios Stavrakakis, Nils Torvalds


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

29.5.2013

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

16

6

1

Members present for the final vote

John Stuart Agnew, Alain Cadec, Chris Davies, Carmen Fraga Estévez, Dolores García-Hierro Caraballo, Marek Józef Gróbarczyk, Werner Kuhn, Isabella Lövin, Gabriel Mato Adrover, Guido Milana, Maria do Céu Patrão Neves, Crescenzio Rivellini, Ulrike Rodust, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Struan Stevenson, Nils Torvalds

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jean-Paul Besset, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Jean Louis Cottigny, Gesine Meissner, Ana Miranda, Antolín Sánchez Presedo

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Pablo Arias Echeverría, Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Carlos José Iturgaiz Angulo, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio

Last updated: 2 October 2013Legal notice