October 30, 2019: The European Union (EU) and Seychelles have concluded negotiations for a new sustainable fishing partnership agreement (SFPA) and a new protocol that will strengthen their cooperation in the fisheries field for the next six years.

The agreement marks a new important milestone of the long-standing bilateral cooperation between the EU and Seychelles in fisheries and of their commitment to promoting sustainable use of marine resources. This is the most important tuna agreement in place for the EU both in financial terms and in terms of fishing opportunities. It will allow the EU fleet (40 tuna purse-seiners and 8 long-liners) to continue fishing in Seychelles waters for the duration of 6 years while continuing to support the sustainable development of the fisheries sector in Seychelles.

Based on a reference tonnage of 50,000 tonnes, the EU will provide Seychelles with an annual financial contribution of € 5,300,000. A significant part of this contribution, €2,800,000 per year, is specifically earmarked to promote the sustainable management of fisheries in Seychelles, as well as to support the development of small-scale fisheries. For the whole duration of the protocol, the total estimated value, including the EU ship-owners contribution, amounts to € 58,200,000, equivalent to € 9,700,000 per year.

The new agreement is based on the principles of the common fisheries policy such as transparency, governance of fishing activities, non-discrimination, respect of scientific advice and scientific cooperation on data collection and analysis. It also complies with Seychelles’ legislation and the management measures taken in the context of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), of which both parties are members.

The protocol will contribute to the social and economic development of Seychelles by better defining the conditions of Seychelles seamen embarkation on EU vessels as well as by providing financial support for building the necessary infrastructure dedicated to local fishing activities.

For the first time, EU ship owners' payments will also include a specific contribution to a dedicated fund that Seychelles will put in place to improve environmental management and the observations of marine ecosystems in its waters.

The agreement between the EU and Seychelles is the most important tuna agreement in place for the EU both in financial terms and in terms of fishing opportunities. The current protocol will expire on January 17, 2020.

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