As part of the Protocol, 22 Spanish tuna purse seiners and 12 Spanish surface tuna longliners will be allowed to fish in the waters of Mauritius. The agreement has a longevity of three years.
This has been seen as a significant step in strengthening the network of fisheries agreements in the region and its importance is said to be highlighted by the strategic situation of Mauritius’ Port Louis in the Indian Ocean.
The original Fisheries Partnership Agreement was set forth by the European Commission to establish “the principles and rules governing the economic, financial and scientific cooperation between the EU and the Republic of Mauritius in the fisheries sector.” It was stated by the Commission that “Its aim is to guarantee the conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources and develop Mauritius’ fisheries sector.”
Providing the EU with fishing opportunities for vessels targeting tuna species, the Protocol will see in return the EU pay Mauritius annual compensation of EUR 660,000 (USD 899,000). Just under half of the money is earmarked to support the fisheries policy of Mauritius. Vessel owners will have to pay a license fee to be authorized to fish in Mauritius’ waters.
Apart from the newly ratified agreement with Mauritius, the EU has existing fisheries agreement with the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar, Mozambique and the Comoros, from which the Spanish fishing sector benefits.