REPORT containing a motion for a non-legislative resolution on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Protocol on the implementation of the Agreement on a Sustainable Fisheries Partnership between the European Union and the Republic of Senegal

7.10.2020 - (13484/2019 – C9‑0178/2019 – 2019/0226M(NLE))

Committee on Fisheries
Rapporteur: Izaskun Bilbao Barandica

Procedure : 2019/0226M(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Debates :
Texts adopted :


on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Protocol on the implementation of the Agreement on a Sustainable Fisheries Partnership between the European Union and the Republic of Senegal

(13484/2019 – C9‑0178/2019 – 2019/0226M(NLE))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the draft Council decision (13484/2019),

 having regard to the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (SFPA) between the European Union and the Republic of Senegal which entered into force on 20 November 2014,

 having regard to the retrospective and prospective assessment of the Protocol to the SFPA between the European Union and Senegal,

 having regard to the Protocol on the implementation of the Agreement on a Sustainable Fisheries Partnership between the European Union and the Republic of Senegal (13483/2019),

 having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 43(2), Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), and Article 218(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (C9-0178/2019),

 having regard to its legislative resolution of ... 2020[1] on the draft decision,

 having regard to Article 31(4) of the Common Fisheries Policy[2],

 having regard to its resolution of 12 April 2016 on common rules in respect of application of the external dimension of the CFP, including fisheries agreements[3],

 having regard to Senegal’s Country Strategic Plan (2019–2023),

 having regard to Senegal’s National Strategy for the Promotion of Green Jobs (2015–2020),

 having regard to the increase in the size of the Asian fleet operating in Senegalese waters,

 having regard to Rule 105(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Development,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries (A9-0182/2020),

A. whereas the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Senegal entered into force on 20 November 2014; whereas the current Protocol implementing the Agreement expired on 19 November 2019 and whereas a new Protocol was initialled on 19 July 2019;

B. whereas the forward-looking assessment of the most recent protocol (2014-2019) concludes that it has generally been effective in helping ensure the sustainable exploitation of resources in the Senegalese fishing zone and recommends the renewal of the protocol to meet both parties' needs;

C. whereas the effectiveness of the last Protocol is satisfactory in relation to tuna fisheries, and whereas Community vessels have not, however, used part of the fishing opportunities for deep-sea demersal species; whereas catches of black hake in Senegalese waters represent less than 10 % of Community catches in the subregion;

D. whereas the development of deep-sea demersal fisheries targeting black hake, as well as additional catches of black hake in the Senegalese fishing zone and in the fishing zones of neighbouring countries, have contributed to increasing the fishing pressure on these stocks;

E. whereas the Union's fishing vessels are limited to fishing areas on the high seas, which means they rarely interact with Senegalese small-scale fishing vessels and thus have minimal impact on their livelihood;

F. whereas the new Protocol covers a period of five years and provides for fishing opportunities for Union vessels (28 tuna freezer seiners, 10 pole-and-line vessels, five longliners and two trawlers) for a reference tonnage of 10 000 tonnes per year for tuna and an authorised volume of catches of black hake of 1 750 tonnes per year;

G. whereas the financial compensation is EUR 3 050 750 per year, broken down as follows: EUR 800 000 per year for access to resources, EUR 900 000 per year for the implementation of the sectoral policy and EUR 1 350 750 per year for the estimated amount of fees to be paid by shipowners;

H. whereas the new Protocol provides fishing opportunities for the Union vessels in Senegalese waters, on the basis of the best available scientific advice and following the recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT);

I. whereas the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy contains a chapter on the external dimension with the aim of promoting the principles of sustainable fishing; whereas bilateral agreements establish a stable legal, economic and environmental framework for the access of the EU fleet to third-country waters and provide for ‘sectoral support’ to strengthen local administrative capacities and improve sustainable fisheries management standards in the partner country;

J. whereas under the Common Fisheries Policy the European fleet will only capture the surplus of permitted catches, in compliance with Article 62 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;

K. whereas Senegal has ratified most international instruments on international fisheries governance and is a cooperating party of the relevant regional fisheries management bodies regarding the fisheries exploited by Senegalese vessels;

L. whereas the new Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Senegal forms part of the EU’s external action in relation to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and takes into account, in particular, Union objectives on respecting democratic principles and human rights;

M. whereas the EU compromises with international agreements, in particular the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and specifically SDG 14, should also be supported under this agreement, and all EU actions, such as this SFPA, must contribute to those objectives;

N. whereas the European Union and Senegal maintain cooperation within the general framework of the Cotonou Agreement and whereas financial support measures as regards fisheries are implemented through the PESCAO programme aimed at improving the governance of the fisheries sector and the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, with a budget of EUR 15 million for the period 2018-2024;

O. whereas IUU fishing not only depletes the natural resource base and lowers natural productivity, but also negatively affects fishers’ livelihoods and national revenues;

P. whereas Parliament must be immediately and fully informed, at all stages, of the procedures concerning the Protocol or its renewal;

Q. whereas small pelagic stocks are shared by a number of neighbouring countries in the Northwest African region with which the EU has fisheries partnership agreements giving access to these stocks; whereas the Commission should encourage the Senegalese authorities to initiate consultations with neighbouring countries on common binding management rules based on scientific advice to ensure sustainable fishing, especially for the small pelagic stocks, even though the agreement between the EU and Senegal does not give access;

R. whereas the strategic objectives under Senegal’s Country Strategic Plan (2019–2023) include the sustainable management and improved productivity of fisheries and an overall increase in market access and competitiveness for the fishing industry;

S. whereas the fisheries sector provides employment for over 600 000 Senegalese, which is about 17 % of the working population;

1. Affirms that the Protocol will enable continued close cooperation between the European Union and Senegal to ensure the responsible exploitation of fishery resources in Senegalese waters and to support the efforts of Senegal to develop sustainable resource management and the protection of marine biodiversity;

2. Supports the EU strategy of being able to maintain a network of agreements in the region in order to complement actions to promote the sustainability of stocks within regional fisheries organisations (RFOs);

3. Notes that, in line with the conclusions of the assessment report, the new Protocol entails a reduction in the tonnage of black hake (from 2 000 to 1 750 tonnes per year) and an increase in the financial contribution for sectoral support (EUR 150 000) and in the estimated amount of fees to be paid by shipowners;

4. Notes the reduction in the fishing opportunities for deep-sea trawlers (black hake) in line with the scientific opinion of the Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF) in order to reduce mortality;

5. Welcomes the fact that the Protocol takes into account sensitive species that are caught as by-catch; stresses the need to further enhance measures to protect the marine ecosystem; emphasises the central role of trained scientific observers in the monitoring of by-catches;

6. Stresses that the Agreement contains a chapter on scientific cooperation in order to ensure better monitoring of the state of marine biological resources in Senegalese waters; takes note of the existing difficulties in the scientific monitoring of the exploitation of deep-sea demersal resources and urges that the evaluation also take into account the fishing pressure exerted by third-country fleets in the waters of other coastal countries (Mauritania, Morocco, Guinea Bissau and Gambia), considering that the fishing opportunities available in Senegalese waters for EU vessels are relatively limited;

7. Considers that, in order to guarantee access to the existing surpluses in Senegalese waters, knowledge of the overall fishing effort — including the Senegalese and third-country fleets — is necessary and calls on the Commission to ensure that the article on transparency is applied in the context of the current protocol, as well as in the deliberations within the competent RFOs;

8. Notes the possibility of reviewing fishing opportunities and of agreeing exploratory fishing surveys in Senegalese fishing zones; welcomes the conditions set out in the Protocol regarding sustainability and adherence to scientific recommendations, and calls on the Commission to keep Parliament informed in the event that such modifications were to be approved by the Joint Committee; welcomes the inclusion of monitoring of catches through the Electronic Reporting System (ERS); calls on the Commission to ensure that the system is operational as soon as possible;

9. Welcomes the adoption of new technical measures to reduce incidental catches of protected species (sea birds, turtles, sharks and marine mammals), and urges the Commission to monitor the adoption of the necessary measures to improve the selectivity of fishing gear in line with the scientific recommendations and legislation derived from RFOs;

10. Underlines that the Agreement establishes a legal framework for cooperation in the field of surveillance and the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), and welcomes Senegal’s ratification of the FAO Port State Measures Agreement in 2017, which constituted a positive step given the importance of the port of Dakar for landings of fishery products caught in several areas of the subregion by vessels flying different third-country flags;

11. Takes a positive view of the signing-on of Senegalese seamen on European Union vessels and underlines the good results achieved in implementing the previous Protocol; welcomes Senegal’s ratification of ILO Convention C188 on Work in Fishing and calls on the Senegalese authorities to implement its provisions; calls on the Commission to assess regularly its effective implementation, in particular as regards working conditions and pay, which are also referred to in the Protocol, in the meetings of the Joint Committee;

12. Considers that the Member States can play a key role and be an active part in capacity-building and training efforts in order to achieve this;

13. Recommends, in order to ensure compliance with the sectoral support objectives set out in Article 5 and without prejudice to other activities, the following priority and strategic actions:

 improving monitoring, control and surveillance through the rapid modernisation of the Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC), namely the need to update tracking software for vessel locations in Senegal’s fishing zone via satellite (inter alia VMS) under appropriate technical conditions, and to be able to receive electronic fishing logbooks;

 supporting Senegal’s efforts in the fight against IUU fishing by means of a monitoring mechanism for vessels calling at the port of Dakar;

 developing scientific capacity and the collection of scientific data so as to enable Senegalese authorities to take decisions based on the best available scientific stock assessment, as well as the imminent launching of planned oceanographic surveys with a view to strengthening the scientific monitoring of the deep-sea demersal fisheries and the knowledge of marine and coastal ecosystems;

 supporting decent working conditions for all fishers and fisheries-related activities, in particular for women, by developing the collection of data identifying gender gaps and by fostering empowerment and improving their role and leadership in fisheries and aquaculture organisations;

 actions to support the generation of added value for fishery products by means of a horizontal capacity building programme for operators in the sector;

 supporting Senegalese small-scale coastal fisheries and communities, including job generation and the development of fisheries-related infrastructure supporting artisanal fishing activity and facilitating the development of the fisheries sector;

 establishing basic and vocational training programmes for scientific observers and seamen (training in fishing techniques, but also safety on board, etc.), with particular emphasis on the training of young fishers and women who play an important role in marketing and processing and whose livelihoods and work depend on the fisheries sector;

 in the framework of the Sectoral Policy Charter for the Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture for the period 2016-2023 adopted by Senegal, an annual joint review with partners, including the Union, to ensure the implementation of the planned sector policy reforms;

 increased efforts to prevent delayed implementation of the sectoral support owing to difficulties on the part of the Senegalese side in implementing the administrative mechanisms to dispose of the funds;

 ensuring greater visibility for actions financed by the Union and promoting proper understanding by the fishing communities and civil society of the specific contribution made by the Protocol to the development of the sector;

 strengthening measures to encourage young people to engage in fishing;

14. Calls on the Commission to carry out a global study on the impact of EU bilateral fisheries agreements and, in particular, on the benefits arising from sectoral support and the activity of the European fleet in third country waters to local economies (development of sustainable fishing, local employment, infrastructure, social improvements, etc.), adopting a unified and consistent approach towards all Western African countries;

15. Expresses its concerns about the growing number of fish meal and fish oil plants on the West African coast which are supplied with small pelagic stocks from Senegalese waters but also from neighbouring countries caught by foreign (non-EU) fleets; criticises in this respect the contradiction of sustainability in terms of providing the local population with valuable protein resources;

16. Considers that, in view of a possible closure of fisheries or the setting of restrictions on fisheries in order to ensure that resources are sustainable, local fishing needs should be addressed first, on the basis of sound scientific advice;

17. Appreciates the efforts made at EU level in terms of transparency in the texts of the protocols and of the joint scientific committees now available; stresses the need to increase transparency and the participation of coastal community associations in the management of the sectoral support; calls on the Commission to provide regular public reports on the use of the sectoral support, and to forward to Parliament the conclusions of the meetings of the Joint Committee and the results of its annual evaluations; calls on the Commission to facilitate the participation of Parliament representatives as observers in the meetings of the Joint Committee and to improve the participation of Senegalese fishing associations and communities; stresses the need for transparency on the part of the Senegalese Government regarding fishing partnerships with other countries;

18. Recommends that stakeholders participate in the preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of operational programmes through involving local fishing communities and consulting with them in accordance with Senegalese law;

19. Calls for greater clarity and harmonisation of reporting in marine protected areas (MPAs) and for an agreed holistic management plan which allocates roles and determines the body responsible for the overall coordination of management activities;

20. Notes that landlocked countries such as Mali depend on fishery exports from Senegal which accounts for more than 40 % of their fishery imports; notes that Senegalese exports contribute to the nutrition of landlocked countries;

21. Notes that more than one fifth of Senegalese exports go to landlocked countries, in particular to Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, and contribute to the economic integration of the African continent;

22. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Republic of Senegal.




for the Committee on Fisheries

on a motion for a non-legislative resolution on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Protocol on the implementation of the Agreement on a Sustainable Fisheries Partnership between the European Union and the Republic of Senegal


Rapporteur for opinion: Beata Kempa




The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on Fisheries, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Welcomes the fact that, in a context of overfishing, the reference tonnage provided for in the new Protocol represents a decrease in comparison with the previous Protocol; underlines, however, that the careful monitoring of fishing stocks remains important;

2. Calls on the Commission and the Republic of Senegal to provide more detailed information on the cumulative effects of the various fisheries agreements in force in the exclusive economic zone on fish stocks and maritime biodiversity;

3. Calls on the Commission to provide more information on the development of fishmeal activities in the region and the economic impact of that practice on local fisheries;

4. Recommends the establishment of regional management rules on the stock of small pelagics; recommends that such rules be shared by Senegal and its neighbouring countries;

5. Insists that the Protocol should be adapted to the Republic of Senegal’s needs and priorities; recommends, in this context, that the sectoral support component of the Protocol focus on the following priorities:

(a) stepping up the monitoring, control and surveillance of fisheries, thereby preventing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, paying particular attention to compliance with flag state obligations and the implementation of maritime agreements;

(b) promoting a sustainable blue economy that develops within ecological limits by supporting small-scale local fisheries and strengthening the position of women and young people, who play an important part in marketing and processing;

(c) fostering local economic development and strengthening coastal communities that are dependent on marine resources and extremely affected by climate change, by increasing the resilience of local actors to the consequences of climate change and coastal erosion;

(d) improving scientific knowledge in the region through training scientific observers and by enabling local scientists to travel on board vessels operating in this area;

(e) promoting measures to protect and restore marine and coastal ecosystems, including mangrove forests, which provide a nursery and development habitat for marine life and offer sustainable and natural carbon storage and, against a backdrop of climate change, ecological resilience;

(f) supporting, with a view to preserving the richness of marine ecosystems, operations collecting waste and fishing gear and tackling pollution sources used by local actors;

6. Notes that fishery activities are important for job-generation in coastal communities, contribute to reducing unemployment and facilitate access to decent work;

7. Calls on the Commission to ensure the involvement of civil society and local fishing communities in implementing the Protocol and in defining the initiatives to be carried out by way of sectoral support;

8. Notes that landlocked countries such as Mali import more than 40 % of its fishery import from Senegal and depend on the fishery export of Senegal; notes that Senegalese exports contribute to the nutrition of land-locked countries;

9.  Notes that more than one fifth of Senegalese exports go to landlocked countries, in particular to Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, and contribute to the economic integration of the African continent.

10. Calls for transparency regarding the use of EU sectoral funding in order to allow for better monitoring and improved linkages with other EU and donor activities financed in the fisheries sector, with a view to preventing duplication and ensuring public awareness of the financing options for projects; urges, in this regard, the Commission to provide regular public reports on the use of sectoral support.




Protocol on the implementation of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Senegal and the European Union



Committee responsible







Opinion by

 Date announced in plenary




 Date appointed

Beata Kempa


Discussed in committee





Date adopted





Result of final vote







Members present for the final vote

Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Hildegard Bentele, Dominique Bilde, Udo Bullmann, Catherine Chabaud, Ryszard Czarnecki, Gianna Gancia, Charles Goerens, Mónica Silvana González, Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, György Hölvényi, Rasa Juknevičienė, Beata Kempa, Pierfrancesco Majorino, Erik Marquardt, Norbert Neuser, Jan-Christoph Oetjen, Michèle Rivasi, Christian Sagartz, Marc Tarabella, Tomas Tobé, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Bernhard Zimniok

Substitutes present for the final vote

Barry Andrews, Frances Fitzgerald







Anna‑Michelle Asimakopoulou, Hildegard Bentele, György Hölvényi, Rasa Juknevičienė, Frances Fitzgerald, Christian Sagartz, Tomas Tobé


Udo Bullmann, Mónica Silvana González, Pierfrancesco Majorino, Norbert Neuser, Marc Tarabella


Catherine Chabaud, Charles Goerens, Jan‑Christoph Oetjen, Barry Andrews


Gianna Gancia


Erik Marquardt, Michèle Rivasi


Beata Kempa


Miguel Urbán Crespo





Pierrette Herzberger‑Fofana





Dominique Bilde, Bernhard Zimniok


Ryszard Czarnecki


Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention





















Date adopted





Result of final vote







Members present for the final vote

Clara Aguilera, François-Xavier Bellamy, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Isabel Carvalhais, Rosanna Conte, Rosa D’Amato, Fredrick Federley, Giuseppe Ferrandino, João Ferreira, Søren Gade, Francisco Guerreiro, Niclas Herbst, Pierre Karleskind, Predrag Fred Matić, Francisco José Millán Mon, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Grace O’Sullivan, Manuel Pizarro, Caroline Roose, Bert-Jan Ruissen, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Ruža Tomašić, Peter van Dalen, Theodoros Zagorakis

Substitutes present for the final vote

Manuel Bompard, Nicolás González Casares, Valentino Grant






Bert‑Jan Ruissen, Ruža Tomašić


João Ferreira


Rosa D'Amato


François‑Xavier Bellamy, Niclas Herbst, Francisco José Millán Mon, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Annie Schreijer‑Pierik, Theodoros Zagorakis, Peter van Dalen


Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Fredrick Federley, Søren Gade, Pierre Karleskind


Clara Aguilera, Isabel Carvalhais, Giuseppe Ferrandino, Nicolás González Casares, Predrag Fred Matić, Manuel Pizarro


Francisco Guerreiro, Grace O'Sullivan, Caroline Roose





Manuel Bompard





Rosanna Conte, Valentino Grant


Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention



Last updated: 28 October 2020
Legal notice - Privacy policy