The Kingdom of Morocco and the Russian Federation recently signed a new agreement for cooperation in maritime fisheries, which replaces the 2016 agreement that expired in March 2020.
Due to restrictions dictated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the two parties had held several rounds of online discussions before agreeing on a common vision that led to the signing of the agreement, says a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests.
At the very beginning of these rounds, the two Ministers in charge of Fisheries had expressed their willingness to renew the fisheries cooperation between the two countries, taking into account the state of the fishery resources and their attachment to the preservation of this resource, emphasizes the same source. The new four-year agreement, the eighth of its kind since 1992, establishes the legal framework allowing a fleet of 10 Russian vessels to fish for small pelagic species in Moroccan waters beyond 15 nautical miles, MAP reports.
It also provides for scientific and technical cooperation for monitoring the pelagic ecosystem in Moroccan waters between the National Institute of Fisheries Research and its Russian counterpart. Similarly, it allows Moroccan students to benefit from training scholarships in Russian institutions specializing in marine fisheries.
The activity of Russian vessels in Moroccan waters offers work opportunities for Moroccan fishermen at a rate of 16 seamen per vessel at all times, according to the statement, noting that these vessels are subject to a control and monitoring regime that includes, in addition to technical visits to Moroccan ports, continuous monitoring of each vessel by satellite, as well as the permanent embarkation of a Moroccan scientific observer.
The Ministry also informs that the Joint Committee, which will meet before the start of fishing activities, will fix the quota to be granted to Russian vessels for the first year of the Agreement, in accordance with the provisions of the management plan for the small pelagic fishery for stock C. It will also lay down all the technical provisions and financial arrangements for the implementation of the Agreement. And to recall that the Agreement provides for a financial compensation composed of an annual financial compensation representing the right of access to the resource, the annual fee, as well as the regulatory fees of the fishing licenses.