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Seychelles Seiners Licensed To Fish In EU Waters

Seychelles flagged tuna seiners have been granted permission to continue to fish in the waters of Mayotte, an Indian Ocean island region that will become part of the EU next year. The decision comes as part of a Fishery Access Agreement that was initialed between the European Union and the Seychelles.

 

The deal will allow eight tuna purse seine vessels that are Seychelles flagged to fish in the tuna rich waters of Mayotte. This agreement will be in place for the next six years, which will consequent in the payment of license and catch fees from the ship-owners. Mayotte will become an outermost region of the EU from January, 1, 2014.

Both sides have welcomed the agreement that is likely to strengthen the relationship between the two parties. The deal will focus on efforts to maintain and expand general fishery governance based on sustainability, transparency, control and management of the involved fleets.

This marks the first time that the EU has granted vessels of a third country the right to fish in its waters on the payment of fees. The seiners will be subject to the regulations of the Common Fisheries Policy and the conservation and management measure established by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC).

The Seychelles is an important canned tuna import market for the EU. The island nation shipped nearly five million cartons (48x185g) of canned tuna to Europe in 2012, and ranked fifth in terms of volume. Last year’s export volume of canned tuna to the EU for the Seychelles represents a huge 929 percent increase on 1990’s levels.

As a major step forward for the Seychelles, the agreement ensures the continuity of the operations of its fleet. The deal will contribute to the country’s struggling economy. The new contract builds on the recently agreed new Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Seychelles.