Spanish fishermen have condemned the European Union’s rejection of an extension of a fishing agreement with Morocco.
EU lawmakers dismissed a fresh pact over fears it would strengthen Rabat’s control of the disputed Western Sahara.
It is believed the current deal led to excessive exploitation of fish stocks and failed to benefit the former Spanish colony, where most of the fishing took place.
But people in the southern Spanish village of Barbate say the outcome is disastrous for their future.
The EU pays Morocco about 36 million euros a year to allow its fishermen to fish its waters and those off Western Sahara under an agreement signed in 2007. They catch mainly sardines and octopus.
Critics of the EU’s decision believe it will undermine talks on a new long-term fisheries pact with Morocco. They also say that if a new deal is agreed it will have to include more guarantees on environmental sustainability.