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A critical review of the European Union-West African fisheries agreements

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Fisheries agreements made between the European Union (EU) and non-EU countries have often proven controversial. This essay will review the genesis and significance of the major agreements for all contracting parties. Since their revision in 2004, such agreements have failed to meet their stated aim, improved management of fish stocks – indeed, they have contributed to fisheries’ degradation. We will survey the agreements’ effects in contracting countries, and show the gulf between stated intentions and actual results. The EU’s Fisheries Partnership Agreements (FPA) owe their official origins to a November 1976 European Council resolution, one that created a 200-mile fishing zone along the Northern Atlantic and North Sea coastlines for the European Economic Community (EEC). The agreements assumed two forms: one granted reciprocal access rights to shared or adjoining fisheries and fish stocks, and the other defined conditions for non EEC-member countries to purchase access rights. The FPAs replaced bilateral agreements negotiated between EEC member states and non-member states; the number of agreements increases each time a new country joins the EEC.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOceans
Subtitle of host publicationthe new frontier
EditorsPierre Jacquet, Rajendra K. Pachauri, Laurence Tubiana
Place of PublicationNew Delhi
PublisherTERI Press
Pages166-170
ISBN (Print)9788179934029
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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