See also:
» 11.10.2010 - Sahrawis awake to government opposition
» 17.05.2010 - PR company takes honour for Western Sahara "success"
» 13.05.2010 - Western Sahara "not part of EFTA-Morocco free trade"
» 14.04.2010 - Sahrawis fed up with UN chief
» 11.02.2010 - Morocco-Polisario revive talks
» 03.02.2010 - New talks on Western Sahara in US
» 29.01.2010 - Ease restrictions on Sahrawi - HRW
» 18.12.2009 - Sahara activist allowed back home

China wholesale online through

Houlihan's coupons

Finn autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden på
Gazpacho Børek Kartoffelsalat Taboulé Gulasj Albóndigas Cevapi Rougaille Japrak sarma Zwiebelbrot Klopse Giouvetsi Paella Pljeskavica Pica pau Pulpo a la gallega Flammkuchen Langosj Tapenade Chatsjapuri Pasulj Lassi Kartoffelpuffer Tortilla Raznjici Knödel Lentejas Bœuf bourguignon Korianderchutney Brenneslesuppe Proia Sæbsi kavurma Sardinske calamares

Autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden finner du på
Réunion Portugal Aserbajdsjan Serbia Tyskland Seychellene Bosnia Spania Libanon Belgia India Kroatia Hellas Italia Ungarn Komorene Georgia Mauritius Østerrike Romania Frankrike

Western Sahara
Politics | Economy - Development

EU considers Western Sahara fisheries legal

Fishing vessels in the port of El Aaiun, Western Sahara

© Fishelsewhere/afrol News
afrol News, 1 July
- The European Commission is defending its fisheries outside the Moroccan-occupied territory of Western Sahara as legal, despite protests from Saharawi authorities, UN specialists and the EU parliament.

In a letter sent to the "Fish elsewhere" campaign against the EU-Morocco fisheries deal, the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, defends the controversial inclusion of occupied Western Sahara in the 2006 deal.

The letter refers to a legal opinion about the resource exploitation in occupied territories made by UN specialist Hans Corell in 2002.

"Mr Corell, concluded that (economic) activities in a non-self-governing territory by an administering power are illegal 'only if conducted in disregard of the needs and interests of the people of that territory'. This opinion was taken into consideration with negotiating the agreement in 2006," the letter says.

According to Ms Damanaki's conclusions, Morocco's sale of fisheries rights outside Western Sahara to EU vessels therefore could not be termed "illegal", as campaigners had argued.

The letter further holds that the fisheries agreement "may have a positive effect on the Western Sahara economy, for example through landing of catches, embarkation of local seamen, and use of local ports." As such, the "needs and interests of the people of that territory" had been taken into consideration.

Sara Eyckmans of Western Sahara Resource Watch however finds the arguments in the letter from the European Commission "scandalous". Mr Corell's legal opinion had concluded totally in contrary to Commissioner Damanaki.

"Instead of referring to the evident conclusion of the UN document, the European Commission has cut-and-pasted a completely unrepresentative sentence from within the text to support its illegal fisheries," Ms Eyckmans said.

The much referred to 2002 legal opinion from the UN Legal Counsel stated that it would be illegal to exploit the natural resources in Western Sahara if the people of the territory are against it. POLISARIO, the exiled government of the territory recognised by the UN as the Saharawi's legal representative, has strongly protested the EU's fisheries in Western Sahara waters.

Also Mr Corell himself in a December 2009 statement said these fisheries were illegal. It was "obvious that an agreement .. that does not make a distinction between the waters adjacent to Western Sahara and the waters adjacent to the territory of Morocco would violate international law," Mr Corell, now retired, stated.

But even in Europe, the resistance to the fisheries deal is growing as Morocco refuses to explain how the EU money paying for Western Saharan fish is being spent. An ordered Moroccan report, outlining how among others the Saharawi population was benefiting from the deal, is not being produced.

Only on Wednesday, Carmen Fraga, the chair of the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee stated that Morocco's unwillingness to explain the use of the EU funds might jeopardise the planned renewal of the current fisheries agreement. The actual agreement terminates in March 2011.

A few weeks ago, Morocco also denied a fact-finding delegation from the same Fisheries Committee to visit the territory to investigate how the EU money was spent. Also the EU Parliament has asked the Commission to specify how the Saharawis have been consulted and how they benefit from the agreement.

- Create an e-mail alert for Western Sahara news
- Create an e-mail alert for Politics news
- Create an e-mail alert for Economy - Development news

    Printable version

On the Afrol News front page now

Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.

Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

front page | news | countries | archive | currencies | news alerts login | about afrol News | contact | advertise | español 

©  afrol News. Reproducing or buying afrol News' articles.

   You can contact us at