Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements (Epas)

In February 2013, the plenary of the European Parliament voted by a large majority in favour of a comprehensive reform of the CFP, including the requirement to set future quotas “on the basis of sustainable development goals rather than annual haggling between ministers”. This would require EU Member States to meet the maximum yield (MMR) from 2015 by allowing fishermen not to fish more than the annual replenishment of stocks. The EU has two types of fisheries agreements with third countries 1st European Commission (EC), `Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)`, Homepage Regional Fisheries Organisations (ORPs) The debate on the new protocol marked a clear change in base to criticise the agreement. Previously, northern European countries had criticised EU VPAs along with West African countries for their unsealability. Under the new protocol, the nations of southern Europe have criticised the protocol for limiting European fishing (see Agritrade article “12.5 million euros are earmarked for unused fishing fleets affected by the fis…┬áNovember 4, 2012). This letter was updated in October 2013 to reflect developments since September 2012. Other publications in this series and additional resources on ACP-EU agriculture and fishing trade are available online at agritrade.cta.int/. Traditional systems based on recorded historical catches hinder the development of new ACP fishing capacity. Promoting the allocation of access systems that both recognize historical catches and apply environmental and social criteria (including taking into account the effects of fishing gear used, job creation and the right to food) and their articulation with the development efforts of the ACP fishing sector could help promote the sustainable development of local fishing capacity.

EC Press Release Article Trade Articles of the European Code on Sustainable and Responsible Fishing Practices The new EU rules are now focusing on monitoring their implementation. The first question for ACP governments is to ensure that their sovereign rights in fisheries management decisions are not undermined by the application of new EU rules. Close monitoring of the application of EU non-discrimination clauses is needed. The CFP and fisheries agreements have been heavily criticised for encouraging unfair trade, directly and indirectly subsidising EU fleets and for their policy being too short, significantly damaging the environment and over-exploiting their own fish and foreign resources. That is why, in 2002, both the CFP and fisheries agreements were reformed in order to be more long-term (sustainable) and to phase out subsidies. Traditional fisheries agreements, which are most often based on the “content, fish and go” principle, should be transformed into a broader and more cooperative approach.