On the 14th March 2016, the Agriculture and Fisheries Council adopted Conclusions on Fisheries Partnership Agreements with third countries, as a policy response to recommendations issued by the European Court of Auditors on the subject in a special report. The Council’s conclusions endorsed the recommendations of the Court, and encouraged the European Commission to continue efforts to address them.
The Court report, ‘Are fisheries Partnership Agreements well managed by the Commission’, was published in October 2015'. Its objective was to evaluate whether FPAs are well managed by the European Commission, during their negotiations and their implementation. The report is based on the audit of four FPAs: three ‘tuna’ FPAs in the Indian Ocean (Madagascar, Mozambique and The Seychelles) and one ‘mixed’ FPA in West Africa (Mauritania).
In general, CFFA feels that the conclusions drawn by the Court’s report need to be deepened and broadened, since they are based only on four agreements and mostly reflect the concerns of the EU ship owners. Little consideration is given by the Court to civil society and third countries fishing communities’ interests and needs.
Therefore, CFFA published comments and recommendations, based on the Court report, about how the management of current Fisheries Partnership Agreements (SFPAs) could be improved to contribute to the establishment of sustainable fisheries in third countries. CFFA also wants to recall that, apart from SFPAs, there are other types of access arrangements to third countries waters, such as private agreements, chartering agreements, joint ventures, which have important impacts on third countries coastal communities, coastal eco-systems and local economies. Transparency and sustainability also need to apply to those.
Read the CFFA Comments and Recommendations
Link to the Court of Auditor's report