Home > FISHERY AGREEMENT BETWEEN EUROPEAN UNION AND MOROCCO ILLEGAL
FISHERY AGREEMENT BETWEEN EUROPEAN UNION AND MOROCCO ILLEGALby Open-Publishing - Wednesday 9 February 2011
Beside the coast of Western Sahara - which is illegally occupied by Morocco - fishing vessels from member states of the EU are taking part in the exploitation of the fishery resources. The Fishery Partnership Agreement between the EU and Morocco - which has to be renewed regularly - serves as a justification. The agreement is written in a way that it mentions only the fishery resources of Morocco, but does not exclude explicitly the fishing grounds of Western Sahara. Since the Moroccan Government – ignoring innumerable UN Security Council resolutions and the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice – considers Western Sahara as Moroccan territory, the agreement is understood by both sides in a way that it includes the Western Sahara fishing grounds. The current agreement will expire at the end of February 2011.
A legal opinion of the legal service of the European Parliament which was published in 2010 states that the present fishery activities beside the coast of Western Sahara are illegal, in particular due to the status of Western Sahara as a non-self-governing territory within the meaning of Article 73a of the UN Charter.
The legal service recommends therefore to stop fishing activities in this region unless they are based on a fishery agreement which complies with international law, and to take into consideration the wishes and interests of the Sahrawi people in the consultations with Morocco, and either explicitly to enlarge the region of application of the agreement, or to interrupt its application.
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