Motion for a resolution - B7-0195/2011Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the negotiations regarding the renewal of the EU-Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Agreement


further to Question for Oral Answer B7‑0018/2011
pursuant to Rule 115(5) of the Rules of Procedure

Isabella Lövin, Raül Romeva i Rueda on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0193/2011

Procedure : 2011/2586(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the negotiations regarding the renewal of the EU-Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Agreement

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982, in particular Articles 61 and 62,

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1801/2006 of 30 November 2006 on the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania,

–   having regard to the Report of the Fourth Session of the Scientific Sub-Committee of the Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF) that took place in Accra, Ghana, from 24-26 October 2005,

–   having regard to Article 208 TFEU,

–   having regard to the visit of the Fisheries Committee to Mauritania in November 2010,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) and 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas, under international law, fisheries are to be managed so as to ‘maintain or restore populations of harvested species at levels which can produce the maximum sustainable yield, as qualified by relevant environmental and economic factors’,

B.  whereas the current protocol to the FPA with Mauritania will expire on 31 July 2012 and will need to be renegotiated if EU-flagged vessels are to continue to operate in Mauritanian waters,

C. whereas during its recent visit to Mauritania, the Fisheries Committee was unable to clarify several important questions about fisheries policy in the country including the status of the stocks and the level of fishing activities conducted by Mauritanian and other fleets,

D. whereas there has long been evidence of the depleted status several stocks in Mauritanian waters,

E.  whereas there has been a demonstrated conflict for many years between EU vessels and Mauritanian vessels, including coastal and artisanal fleets, over access to the lucrative cephalopod fishery,

1.  Insists that any and all access negotiated for EU-flagged vessels to fish in the waters of Mauritania must be based on the principle of surplus stocks as described in the UN Law of the Sea; in particular, that there must be a recent, detailed and rigorous assessment for all stocks for which access is sought or which are likely to be caught as bycatch and that any EU access must come from those quantities which are not able to be caught by the Mauritanian fleet;

2.  Notes with considerable concern that the most recent report of the Scientific Sub-committee of CECAF held in 2005 found that at that time, all stocks of small pelagics were fully exploited and most stocks of demersal species were over-exploited, with some being fully exploited; that a study by the FAO Northwest Africa Small Pelagic Working Group concluded in 2010 that the situation had deteriorated, with two stocks of small pelagics (horse mackerel and sardinella) now being over-exploited;

3.  Considers that if any reductions are required due to over-exploitation of stocks, the fleets from third countries (EU and others) should be reduced first, beginning with those fleets causing the most environmental damage;

4.  Considers that in the interests of transparency, information on any bilateral agreement and protocol negotiated with Mauritania should be in the public domain, including, inter alia, the ex post evaluations, the names of the vessels authorised to fish under the agreement and their quotas (where relevant), the catches made under the agreement, any convictions for infringements of the relevant regulations and reports on the implementation of the multiannual sectoral programme;

5.  Believes that all vessels fishing in Mauritanian waters under the agreement, regardless of size, should be fitted with a VMS system and that the position signals should be transmitted directly to the Mauritanian authorities in real time; further believes that the protocol should stipulate that if the VMS system of a vessel fails, that vessel must have the system repaired within two weeks or have its authorisation to fish suspended until it has been repaired;

6.  Considers that EU-flagged vessels should apply standards of selectivity that are at least as strict as those applicable to vessels operating in EU waters in comparable fisheries (e.g. selectivity grids, square-mesh panels, hook size and shape, etc.);

7.  Believes that for those stocks that are shared with other West African States, the levels of fishing access in Mauritania must be negotiated bearing in mind levels of fishing in the other States, and that ultimately, the EU should seek to negotiate a regional partnership agreement rather than a series of bilateral ones;

8.  Believes that the money paid as compensation for access to fish stocks in Mauritanian waters must be clearly de-coupled from financial support for the Mauritanian multiannual fisheries sectoral programme, in that any reduction in fishing opportunities must not lead to a reduction in EU payments for the multiannual programme;

9.  Believes that financial support to the Mauritanian multiannual fisheries programme must be in line with Mauritania needs for sustainable fisheries development, in particular fisheries management (research, control, stakeholder participation mechanisms, infrastructures, etc), as expressed in the EU-Mauritania cooperation and development framework; FPA financial support should support and enhance EU development cooperation objectives, in order to implement EU legal obligation of ‘coherence for development’ under Article 208 TFEU;

10. Because of its importance for job creation, food security, etc, believes that the multiannual sectoral programme should pay special consideration to support for the development of a framework that will lead to an environmentally and socially sustainable small-scale sector (implementation of the Mauritanian coastal fisheries management plan, promotion of local value addition, surveillance and control, etc);

11. Believes that the Commission should be more pro-active in the planning, execution and evaluation of the multiannual sectoral programme;

12. Encourages the Commission to discuss with Mauritania, in the context of development cooperation, the objective of ensuring that all quotas or effort allocated by the Mauritanian authorities to both their national fleets and to third country fleets (EU and others) should be within a long-term management plan that will ensure that such stocks remain at levels above those that are capable of producing MSY;

13. Congratulates the Commission on its funding of the surveillance programme in the Sub-Region, including Mauritania, and encourages it to provide financial and other support for scientific research programmes as well;

14. Insists that a coastal zone of appropriate size must be reserved for the Mauritanian artisanal fleet and that any incursion into this zone must lead to immediate withdrawal of the right to fish for the offending vessel;

15. Notes that under Article 208 TFEU, the EU fisheries policy in Mauritania must be coherent with the EU development policy;

16. Believes that the marine resources of the Mauritanian EEZ should be used as a means to achieve food security for Mauritanian communities and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals;

17. Insists that in cases where access for some EU vessels to certain types of fishing is not renewed due to concerns about over-exploitation of resources or environmental degradation, a programme must be developed and implemented by the EU and Mauritania to manage the over-exploited fishery, including provisions to prevent those vessels that had been fishing from continuing under other arrangements;

18. Calls on the Commission to ensure that all requirements related to reporting of fishing activities and catches, as well as local landings of catches are fully complied with and that failure to do so leads to suspension of the vessel concerned;

19. Supports the inclusion of a human rights clause;

20. Encourages Mauritania to ratify the relevant international fisheries instruments such as the Port States Agreement and the UN Fish Stocks Agreement;

21. Calls on the Commission and the Council to allow MEPs to attend the negotiation sessions and the meetings of the Joint Committee as observers;

22. Considers that only if all of the above concerns are fully integrated into the protocol should the European Parliament give its consent.