A deal allowing Spanish and Portuguese boats to fish off the coast of Morocco has been officially signed. The agreement is valid for four years as soon as it is ratified by the Moroccan parliament, probably in October. Representatives of the European Commission, the EU Council and Morocco put pen to paper in Brussels earlier.
Around 115 mainly Spanish and Portuguese boats – fewer than before – will be permitted to fish in Moroccan waters. The fleet will also be composed of smaller vessels. The deal only covers Morocco’s Atlantic coast and excludes so-called fragile species.
The European Union has agreed to pay the north African country 144 million euros. However several MEPs were troubled that the waters of the disputed territory of Western Sahara are included in the deal. International law does not recognise Morocco’s sovereignty over its neighbour.