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Morocco-EU fisheries agreement adopted by the government

The Governing Council, convened Thursday in Rabat under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani, adopted the draft law 14.19 approving the agreement in the field of fisheries signed between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union (EU).

In addition to this bill, presented by the Secretary of State to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Council also adopted the Protocol for the Implementation of the Agreement and the Exchange of Letters, which constitute an integral part of the agreement, signed in Brussels on January 14, 2019, and subject to its final provisions, said Minister Delegate for Relations with Parliament and Civil Society, spokesman for the government, Mustapha El Khalfi, in a statement read at a press briefing after the Council.

Through the exchange of letters relating to the agreement, the Kingdom of Morocco confirms that the Moroccan Saharan provinces are an integral part of the national territory where it exercises its total sovereignty like the rest of the national territory, said the Minister Delegate.

Under this agreement, both parties undertake to develop sustainable fishing in the fishing zone on the basis of the principle of non-discrimination between the different fleets present in these waters and aim to put in place the framework for legal, environmental, economic and social governance of fishing activities carried out by EU fleets setting out, inter alia, conditions for fishing in the area and economic and financial cooperation in this area, he said.

The objective, explained the Minister Delegate, is to consolidate ocean management and administrative cooperation to implement the financial counterpart, scientific and technical cooperation to ensure a sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources in the fishing zone and the development of the sector.

According to El Khalfi, this framework also aims at cooperation in the management, monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activities to ensure compliance with the rules in force and ensure the effectiveness of measures for the preservation of fisheries resources and management of fishing activities, including the fight against illegal, unauthorized and disorderly fishing.

Under the terms of the agreement, it was also decided to set up a joint commission composed of representatives of the two parties to monitor the implementation of its provisions and to introduce amendments to the protocol.

As far as the protocol is concerned, El Khalfi concluded, its objective is to put the provisions of the agreement into effect, in particular in its part relating to the determination of the access conditions for the EU fleets to the zone of the provisions of the partnership in the field of maritime fisheries, in particular the fishing opportunities and the procedure allowing European fleets to obtain authorizations, the financial contribution, the payment formulas, as well as the coordination in the scientific field.

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