The acting Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has expressed his satisfaction for the renewal of the Fishing Agreement between the European Union and Guinea-Bissau, of great importance for the Spanish fleet, since it will benefit a maximum of 54 vessels, of which 24 may be tuna vessels and up to 30 trawlers.

The European Union (EU) and Guinea Bissau have signed a new fisheries agreement protocol in Brussels. The Agreement was suspended from November 23, 2017.

The minister stressed that Spain has participated "actively" in the negotiation of the new protocol.

The main beneficiaries are boats based in Galician, Andalusian and Canary ports, which carry out directed trawling for demersal species and crustaceans (in the case of Andalusian vessels). The signing of this agreement is essential for this segment of the fleet, and serves as a complement to the one signed with Mauritania.

Spain has actively participated in the negotiation of this protocol and its subsequent ratification by the institutions of the European Union. From now on, the provisional application of the agreement begins, while the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food processes the licenses as quickly as possible so that Spanish vessels can return to this fishing ground as soon as possible.

Better conditions

The new protocol, which will last for 5 years, maintains fishing opportunities for trawlers for fish and cephalopods, shrimp trawlers, pole-and-line tuna vessels, tuna seiners and longliners.

In addition, a new mode of small pelagic trawlers is created, which increases the activity options of these vessels with respect to the previous protocol. The authorization of support vessels for tuna seiners is also contemplated, with payment of an annual fee not specified.

At the same time, the limits for by-catches are improved and an obligation of contribution in kind is established for food security, as well as the increase by one unit of the number of Guinean seamen to be embarked per vessel.

The annual financial counterpart of the agreement will be of 11.6 million euros for access to resources, in addition to 4 million euros of sectorial support.

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