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Gambia-EU fishing deal hangs in the balance


The fishing agreement with the European Union proposed by Gambian authorities risks rejection by lawmakers.

Gambian lawmakers on Monday have asked the country’s fisheries minister James Gomez to hand over the proposed fishing agreement with European Union to the National Assembly committee for scrutiny.

The Committee will scrutinize the controversial bill before it is brought before the whole house. The agreement will allow EU vessels to fish in the Gambian waters. About a week ago, the lawmaker for Banjul North Ousman Sillah calls the agreement a bad deal.

This will be the second fishing agreement Gambia signs after another one with Senegal in 2017.

The new protocol, which covers a period of 6 years, will offer EU vessels the possibility to fish 3300 tons of tuna and tuna-like species as well as 750 tons of hake per year in the Gambian waters.

The EU will pay The Gambia a financial contribution of 550 000 € per year.

Half of this yearly contribution will be used to strengthen the sustainable management of fisheries resources and the development of the Gambian fishing sector, according to Gambian officials.

The agreement covers the cooperation in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) and the promotion of the blue economy, including aquaculture.

A special support will be given to the artisanal fisheries sector.

The agreement will enter into force when the necessary legislative procedures for its conclusion have been completed.

Meanwhile, fisheries minister James was at a breakfast meeting with the ambassador of the EU Attila Lajos on Monday to discuss the agreement with media.

“The EU trawlers will not fish within the 12 miles zone where there are artisanal fishers…,” said James who described the deal as a good one.

James said every trawler that will be fishing in Gambian waters will carry a Gambian observer and employ about five people.






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