“The Morocco-EU Fisheries Agreement is still in force. On the other hand, it is the Fisheries Protocol, concluded for four years (2019-2023), which expires on July 17”, said Mr. Bourita who was speaking during a press briefing after of the 3rd Ministerial Meeting of the African Atlantic States Process.
This is, added the Minister, a “scheduled” expiry since the conclusion of the Protocol for a period of 4 years, starting July 18, 2019.
Mr. Bourita described the implementation of the Protocol as “satisfactory”, noting that the cooperation has been “positive and mutually beneficial” during these four years.
He thus confided that a meeting is planned this week in Brussels between the Moroccan authorities and their European counterparts, within the framework of a Joint Commission in the field of fisheries, to make a joint assessment of these four years.
With regard to the future of the Fisheries Agreement, the Minister indicated that “a reflection is underway within the Moroccan government” taking into account three parameters.
The first is “of a doctrinal nature”, he said, considering that today’s Morocco, in accordance with the vision and foreign policy drawn up by HM King Mohammed VI, favors partnerships “with clearer added value”.
“Morocco wants more advanced partnerships, where the Moroccan added value is stronger,” said Bourita.
Regarding the second parameter, the Minister explained that the Kingdom has developed a national fishing strategy “Halieutis” and put in place a vision dedicated to the development of the sector, which takes into account the expectations of operators and requires adaptations within the framework interaction with partners.
The third parameter, which the government includes in its reflection and in its assessment, is linked to scientific data, the objective being to preserve this important natural resource for Morocco and for Moroccans, and to ensure its sustainability, a- he chained.
“Morocco will therefore interact with the European side on the basis of this reflection, which is ongoing,” Bourita stressed, indicating that dialogue and cooperation with European partners are permanent.