EU AND GABON BUILDING A NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES
EU and Gabon building a new partnership for sustainable fisheries. On 10 February 2021, the European Union and the Gabonese Republic established a new Protocol to their Fisheries Agreement. The Agreement allows European Union vessels to access Gabonese waters for a period of 5 years and contributes to the development of the Gabonese fisheries sector.
This new Protocol creates a framework for cooperation and governance with Gabon in the field of fisheries and guarantees respect for the fundamental values of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy based on sustainable resource management, improved fisheries governance and transparency.
In addition, this new Protocol responds to Gabon’s desire to improve the competitiveness of the sector and to encourage the creation of added value and workplaces, in particular through incentives to disembark catches and, in the long term, to enhance their value.
Access of European tuna vessels to waters and fishery resources in the Gabonese fishing zone will be authorised in return for an annual financial contribution from the European Union of €1,6 million.
In addition, financial support of €1 million per year will be provided by the European Union to contribute to the development of the fisheries sector and to the sustainable management of stocks through, inter alia, scientific capacity building, observation and management of the marine environment, as well as measures to protect fragile ecosystems such as marine protected areas.
Support will also contribute to the monitoring, control and surveillance of fisheries and the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
European ship-owners will complement the EU contribution by circa €2,6 million per year, to be adjusted according to their level of catches.
The European fleet will consist of 27 tuna seiners, 6 pole-and-line tuna vessels and 4 trawlers targeting demersal fish and crustaceans in an exploratory fishery.