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The first Italian fishing vessels destined to operate in eastern Libyan waters start from Mazara del Vallo, on the basis of a five-year private agreem

Italian MEP asks for information regarding agreement between Federpesca Mazara and the Libyan Military

EUROPEAN UNION
Thursday, September 19, 2019, 20:00 (GMT + 9)

The Mazara Vallo fishing fleet has for years suffered continuous harassment and intimidation by Libyan forces as part of a ‘fish war’ off the coastal region of Cirenaica.

On 9 September 2019, an investigative report revealed the entry into force of an agreement between Federpesca Mazara and the Libyan Military Investment and Public Works Authority, which is controlled by individuals answerable to General Khalīfa Belqāsim Haftar.

An “Exclusive Economic Zone” as a maritime area “Libya unilaterally established in 2005, de facto expanding its national waters by 62 miles beyond the conventional 12”. ►

Under the terms of the agreement, seizures of vessels will be ended, while just 10 large fishing boats from Mazara will be authorised to fish in the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone), which has been unilaterally extended from 12 to 74 miles from the coast by the Tripoli Government, for a monthly fee of EUR 100,000 and EUR 1.5 per kilo of fish caught. Fishing vessels not covered by the agreement continue to be in danger of harassment and seizure.

Fishing boats anchored in Mazara del Vallo’s port, Sicily, filed pic. (Source: Mazara’s fishing district, official website)

In the light of this Ignazio Corrao has asked these questions for written answer P-002799/2019 to the Commission, Rule 138:

1. What view does the Commission take of the agreement concluded by Federpesca, a private entity, regarding a fishing area that should be open and accessible? What effect does it expect the agreement to have on the price of fish?

2. What action will it take to protect fishing fleets from Mazara del Vallo?

3. What view does it take of the unilateral extension of the EEZ decided by the Tripoli authorities?

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