EU, Guinea-Bissau renew fisheries agreement

The European Union (EU) and Guinea-Bissau signed this week a new three-year protocol as part of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement, said the European Commission in Brussels.

Vessels from the 28 Member States of the EU, mainly from Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Portugal, will now resume fishing in Guinea-Bissau waters after a two-year hiatus following a coup in the country in April 2012. Online news portal Bissau Digital reported the new deal.

It will allow for 40 vessels from the EU to fish in Guinea-Bissau waters, in exchange for an annual compensation of about 6 billion CFA francs (US$9.2 million).

Part of that payment, almost 2 billion CFA francs, will be for the development of Guinea-Bissau’s own fishing industry. The money will be used for the monitoring, control and surveillance of fisheries, as well as encouraging scientific cooperation, improving sanitary checks and providing support for traditional fishing.

In addition to the compensation fees, ship owners covered by the EU deal will pay an additional tax for the fishing licences. The amount will vary according to the type of ships and the amount of fishing done.