The Government of Liberia and the European Union have signed a new sustainable fisheries partnership agreement for five year’s duration.
The agreement came about after a third round of negotiations between the two governments. Liberia was represented by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Florence Chenoweth, and the European Union (EU), was represented by De Cesari, Head of Unit at the EU’s Fisheries Directorate General.
The agreement set out the fishing opportunities for EU vessels; the financial compensation to be paid by the EU and the modalities of sector support to the fishing sector of Liberia.
EU Ambassador to Liberia, Tiina Intelmann, who witnessed the initialing of the agreement between the EU and Liberia in Monrovia, expressed her satisfaction stating that the new agreement is a symbol of the continued and expanding partnership between the two countries.
“This new agreement is a symbol of the continued and expanding partnership between the EU and Liberia and a sign that Liberia is open for business after the Ebola crisis,” she said.
The agreement, she explained, will contribute to Liberia’s economic stabilization and recovery plan by providing additional revenues to the national budget, and capacity support for the fisheries sector.
The protocol provides the EU with fishing opportunities for tuna and other highly migratory fish species for 28 purse seiners and 6 long-line vessels, based on a reference tonnage of 6,500 tones. In return, the EU will pay Liberia an average annual compensation of € 650,000 (or approximately US$730), out of which 50 percent is earmarked to support the fisheries policy of Liberia.
The agreement will ensure that the fishing activities of EU vessels in Liberian waters will be carried out in strict respect of the principles of sustainability of resources, good governance, transparency and respect for human rights.
Both parties have also committed to respecting fully all recommendations by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).
This protocol will also reinforce cooperation between Liberia and the EU, especially in their fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Moreover, the sector support will help Liberia reinforce its fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance capacity, as well as enhance scientific cooperation and promote the development of Liberia’s fishing sector.