Expanding the network of EU tuna fisheries agreements

08-07-2016

Since 1980, the EU has set up a network of bilateral fisheries agreements, providing fishing opportunities for the EU fleet in the waters of third countries. These agreements were concluded with countries in West Africa (1980-1998), in the western Indian Ocean (1984-1989), and in the western-central Pacific (2003-2007). Over the past few years, the European Commission has considered the possibility of expanding EU fleet access to new partner countries’ waters in the three regions. These fishing opportunities would slot in the current network of tuna fisheries agreements, allowing EU vessels to pursue tuna migration within the waters of the new partner countries. Several procedures are now at different stages of progress, with the first of them – the agreement with Liberia – being adopted recently. To put these new opportunities into perspective, this briefing provides an overview of the EU tuna fisheries in the three regions, outlining the activities of the different types of EU tuna fishing vessels within and outside the framework of EU agreements, and the importance of their catches to the EU market. The potential agreements with Ghana and Sierra Leone (in West Africa); with Tanzania and Kenya (in the western Indian Ocean); and with the Cook Islands (in the western-central Pacific) are presented against this backdrop.

Since 1980, the EU has set up a network of bilateral fisheries agreements, providing fishing opportunities for the EU fleet in the waters of third countries. These agreements were concluded with countries in West Africa (1980-1998), in the western Indian Ocean (1984-1989), and in the western-central Pacific (2003-2007). Over the past few years, the European Commission has considered the possibility of expanding EU fleet access to new partner countries’ waters in the three regions. These fishing opportunities would slot in the current network of tuna fisheries agreements, allowing EU vessels to pursue tuna migration within the waters of the new partner countries. Several procedures are now at different stages of progress, with the first of them – the agreement with Liberia – being adopted recently. To put these new opportunities into perspective, this briefing provides an overview of the EU tuna fisheries in the three regions, outlining the activities of the different types of EU tuna fishing vessels within and outside the framework of EU agreements, and the importance of their catches to the EU market. The potential agreements with Ghana and Sierra Leone (in West Africa); with Tanzania and Kenya (in the western Indian Ocean); and with the Cook Islands (in the western-central Pacific) are presented against this backdrop.