The Joint Euro-Moroccan Commission of Fishing Professionals met last week to jointly address the options and challenges posed by the ruling of the General Court of the EU annulling the sustainable fisheries partnership agreement with Morocco.
Operators from both sides spoke with one voice at the meeting. Sector representatives reiterated their commitment to work together with all stakeholders and policymakers to resolve the situation and prevent any damage to the industry, trade relationship and partnership between the two parties.
The Euro-Moroccan Commission stated that it is working on a declaration of intentions to conceptualise the fishing sector’s vision to ensure that the good co-operation between Morocco and the EU in sustainable fisheries can continue in the future.
The Joint Euro-Moroccan Commission analysed the Court decision in depth, particularly the socio-economic consequences and trade disruptions that a possible fisheries partnership agreement annulment would bring about.
All parties agreed on the positive role played by such agreement for both parties through the years, including for the population of the Sahara, as well as its fundamental contribution to advancing sustainable management of fishery resources.
In this vein, the sector representatives consider the continuation of a fisheries partnership between the EU-Morocco to be crucial.
The meeting allowed industry representatives to review other major areas of common interest in which the EU and Morocco are working together, which include regional fisheries, governance and neighbourhood policies.
The Joint Euro-Moroccan Commission, which was created in February 2018 between the European fisheries organisations that are part of Europêche and by the Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Federation of Morocco (FPMA) in order to promote the business relations, announced a meeting early next year in Europe where they plan to present a roadmap for 2022.