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Liberia, EU sign fisheries deal

Liberia EU sign fisheries deal NDThe Liberian Government and the European Union on Friday signed a new 5 year fisheries deal which will enable EU vessels to fish in Liberian waters.

The deal which was signed by Liberia’s Agriculture Minister Dr. Florence Chenoweth, and the European Union (EU), represented by Mr De Cesari, Head of Unit at the EU’s Fisheries Directorate General is a Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement as well as an associated Protocol of a 5 year duration.

The agreement set out the fishing opportunities for EU vessels, the financial compensation to be paid by the EU and the modalities of sectoral support to the fishing sector of Liberia.

EU Envoy to Liberia Tiina Intelmann, who witnessed the initialing of the Agreement between the EU and Liberia in Monrovia, expressed her satisfaction by stating: “this new Agreement is a symbol of the continued and expanding partnership between the European Union and Liberia and a sign that Liberia is open for business after the Ebola crisis”. 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 tonnes. In return, the EU will pay Liberia an average annual compensation of € 650 000 (or approx. 730.00 USD), out of which 50% is earmarked to support the fisheries policy of Liberia.

The Agreement and will ensure that the fishing activities of Union vessels in Liberian waters will be carried out in strict respect of the principles of sustainability of resources, good governance transparency and respect of human rights.

Both parties have also committed to respecting fully all recommendations made by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).

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This Protocol will also reinforce cooperation between Liberia and the EU, especially in their fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Moreover, the sectoral support will help Liberia reinforce its fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance capacity, as well as to enhance scientific cooperation and promote the development of the fishing sector of Liberia. – Editing by Othello B. Garblah

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