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The conference 'Management and Sustainability of Fisheries in West Africa', organized by ANACEF OPP43

Guinea Conakry announces in Las Palmas that the fishing agreement with the EU is very close

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Friday, November 27, 2020, 06:00 (GMT + 9)

The conference “Management and Sustainability of Fisheries in West Africa”, organized by ANACEF OPP43, brought together senior Fisheries officials from Spain, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Mauritania, Gambia, Cape Verde and Morocco, as well as the Chief Deputy of the EU Agreements Unit.

Las Palmas, Canary Islands - Amara Camara, representative of Guinea Conakry, at the meeting held this morning in Las Palmas, announced that his country will sign a fisheries agreement with the European Union “shortly”. Camara pointed out that the negotiations are well advanced and that the possibility of an agreement is real and close. Undoubtedly good news for the Spanish fleet, which already operates in the waters of other West African countries such as Guinea Bissau, Morocco or Mauritania.

The working session on "Management and Sustainability of West African Fisheries", organized by Anacef OPP 43, was divided into three blocks in which the parties with responsibility contributed their vision of these fishing agreements: The European Union and Spain as responsible and beneficiaries; the African countries, for the return that these agreements have; and the scientists, who explained the benefits that these agreements imply in the management of resources.

Thus, Emmanuel Berck, Deputy Head of the EU Agreements Unit, spoke of the importance of agreements and their benefits:
"They allow us to access demersal and pelagic fishery resources, essential to supply the internal market of the EU, and collaborate with West African countries, promoting their development through job creation, promotion of artisanal fishing, improvement of the control of the resource and of scientific knowledge ”. Berck stressed that the European Union allocates 240 million euros to fisheries agreements, where a large percentage goes to those it has with West African countries.

For his part, Antonio Lizcano, Deputy Director General of Agreements and ORP's of the General Secretariat for Fisheries, referred to the Spanish fleet that operates under these agreements, highlighting, due to their importance for the cephalopod fleet, those signed with Mauritania and Guinea Bissau. Lizcano underscored the collaboration of the Secretariat with scientific organizations that provide guidelines for the management of resources under these agreements.

In the same vein, the representatives of the African countries that participated in the event, who agreed on the importance of these agreements for the development of their fishing industry, demonstrated. In this sense, Guinea Bissau announced that it is working on the accreditation of a laboratory that allows exports in the country, while Morocco highlighted the scientific campaigns they are carrying out to improve the management of their resources.

The fact is that the funds provided by the European Union as a result of these agreements translate into improvements such as those being carried out by Mauritania in matters such as health inspection, control and surveillance, or that Cape Verde has modernized its infrastructures and improved the working conditions of women working in the fishing sector.

The scientific vision was carried out by Duarte Fernández, head of the FARFISH project, who presented the actions of the project that is being carried out by the Technological Center of the Sea to improve the knowledge of some of the fisheries of West Africa. For her part, Lourdes Peralta, from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, referred to the functioning of scientific committees, organs of vital importance for the management of resources under the agreements with the European Union.

Anacef highlights the "mutual profitability" of the agreements At the closing of the conference, the manager of Anacef, Juan Carlos Martín Fragueiro, highlighted that the fisheries agreements, from which both the EU and third countries obtain mutual profitability, are a element that helps to fix the population in these countries.

Martín Fragueiro also referred to the possibility of establishing flexible interannual systems that avoid closures: “It is necessary that in Europe and third countries contribute more information for a sustainable management of resources, know the surpluses and that the EU can in turn to contribute with third countries ”, he concluded.

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