Russian fisheries agreement to be renegotiated
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Morocco and Russia want a new agreement in place before September 2009.
Published: 07.05 - 2009 11:14Printer version    
Western Sahara Resource Watch has translated the protocol from the Russian-Moroccan Joint Fisheries Committee which took place in Saint Petersburg on 8-11 September 2008. See the unofficial WSRW translation below.

The protocol reveals that the parties have decided that a new agreement must be renegotiated and signed before September 2009.

Russia and Morocco today have a fisheries cooperation which was signed on 7 September 2006. The current agreement is ending on 14 October 2009. Read their current agreement here (in Russian).

The agreement lets Russian fishing vessels fish inside occupied Western Sahara. This is done without the consent or benefit of the Sahrawi people, and the agreement is thus in violation of international law.

Morocco has occupied Western Sahara since 1975, and has not even presented a maritime claim over the ocean offshore Western Sahara. Still, they negotiate fisheries agreements for the annexed waters.

The joint meeting in Saint Petersburg evaluated the second year of the implementation of the agreement. The talks mention specifically fisheries reseach in Cape Blanc, which is located in occupied Western Sahara. Reference is also made to "South-Atlantic Morocco", which in Morocco's terms means Western Sahara.

The talks laid also the premises for the fisheries to take place in 2009. It stated that 12 vessels are given permission to catch 120.000 tonnes of fish. In addition to that 80.000 tonnes are to be caught in "joint projects".

Western Sahara Resource Watch has on several occasions documented Russian trawlers inside the occupied waters of Western Sahara, as well as Russian transports of frozen fish and fishmeal/fishoil from Western Sahara.

The original version of the protocol can be read on the pages of Murmansk Trawl Fleet and the Norwegian Support Committee for Western Sahara.



News-April 2009

Decision of the Russian-Moroccan committee


18 November 2008

ORDER N 321 of 13 November 2008. With a view to fulfil the divisions of the 3d session of the Russian-Morocco Joint Committee of Fisheries (The protocol is included), took place in the period from 8 till 11 October 2008 in Saint Petersburg (Russia).

1.To Office of International Cooperation (A.A. Ohanovu), to Office of Science and Education (V.A. Belyaevu), to Office of Fisheries (V.V. Risovanomu), FGUP “VNIRO” (B.N. Kotenovu), FGUP “AtlantNIRO” (K.G. Kuhorenko) to provide in proper time and qualitatively the fulfilment of Russian party obligations, which provided in protocol of the 3d session of the Russian-Morocco Joint Fisheries Committee

2. To Barents Sea-White Sea territory management of Russian State Fisheries Committee (V.V. Balashovu), West-Baltic territory management of Russian State Fisheries Committee (V. S. Chiklinenko), Asov-Black sea territory management of Russian State Fisheries Committee (M.N. Gude) to inform interested Russian ship-owners about the working conditions in the Atlantic fishing area near Morocco in 2009 (p. 4 of the Protocol), including the question of financial compensation for given opportunities for fishing according to the appendices 1 and 3 to the Agreement between The Russia Federation Government and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco about collaboration in marine fisheries area from 7 September 2006.

3. To Office of International Cooperation (A.A. Ohanovu) requesting FGUP “Natsribresurs” (O.M. Mironova) (National fishing resource, WSRW ed.note), VARPE (U. I. Kokorenko) to work over the question about the possible realization of the joint projects in developing 80 thousand tons of small pelagic fish species in the Atlantic fishing area of Morocco. Together with interested enterprises to prepare on time before the end of January 2009 proposals about the place and the time of the meeting of experts from both countries with a view of detailed discussion on the merits and closing in Parties positions in terms of activity in frames of joint projects.

4. To Office of Science and Education (V.A. Belyaevu) together with Russian FGUP “VNIRO”, FGUP “AtlantNIRO” to provide the realization of agreements about scientific and technical collaboration with Morocco party (page 2 of the Protocol).

5. To Office of International Cooperation (A.A. Ohanovu), taking into account that the ending of validity 14 October 2009 of the Agreement between the Russia Federation Government and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco about collaboration in marine fisheries from 7 September 2006, to organize a work for preparation and agreement in accordance with established procedure the project of the new intergovernmental agreement with Morocco with a view of its signing no later than September 2009.

6. The control of realization of the present order to entrust Secretary of State - deputy administrator of the Agency S.A. Podolyana.

Manager A.A. Krajnij

Attached to the Rosribolovstva (Russian fisheries – WSRW ed. note) order from 13 November 2008 N 321


PROTOCOL OF THE 3D SESSION OF THE RUSSIAN-MOROCCAN JOINT FISHERIES COMMITTEE

According to the article 17 of the Agreement between the Russia Federation Government and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco about collaboration in marine fisheries, signed on 7 September 2006 in Casablanca (henceforth ‘the Agreement’), the Joint Committee conducted its 3d session 8-11 October 2008 in Saint Petersburg.

Secretary of State - deputy administrator of the Federal fishing agency S.A. Podolyan, led the Russian delegation. The Morocco delegation was led by the General Secretary of the Department of marine fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries of Morocco, M. Tarmidi.

Membership of Parties delegations is listed in Appendix 1 to the Protocol.

In opening of the session the leaders of both delegations expressed in their speeches general satisfaction with the implementation of the Agreement.

The Joint Committee agreed upon the following Agenda:

1. About the implementation of the Agreement during the second year of its force.

2. About science and technical collaboration.

3. About questions of export of Moroccan seafood to Russia.

4. About order and conditions of work for Russian fishing vessels in Atlantic Morocco fishing area for the 3rd year of the Agreement force.

5. About joint projects in developing 80 thousand tons of small pelagic kinds of fish



1.  
About the implementation of the Agreement during the second year of its force.

It was marked that the points of the Agreement were fulfilled as a whole, nevertheless, the Joint Committee marked the decrease of working activity of Russian fishing ships, that work according to the Agreement, since there considerable decrease of the catch volume took place, approximately for 50% from the fixed quota.

Parties exchanged their opinions and proved following indexes of ships’ work:

- Number of vessels realizing work - 7 units;

- Number of Moroccan sailors taken on board - 98 individuals;

- Number of goings out of representatives on the Russian vessels - 14;

- Real catches by the end of September 2008 - 50 710 tons;

- Production of fisheries products - 43237 tons.

The Russian party marked that the decrease of the work efficiency of Russian fishing vessels in 2008 is connected with the increase of prices for the ship’s fuel.

The Moroccan party paid attention to the existing debt of the “Sevnauchflot” firm, it’s the compensation for the rights given to the “Samara” ship to work in the 2d and 3d quarters of 2007. Morocco asked the Russian side to take all necessary measures in order to provide the payment of the financial compensation.

The Russian side expressed its concern over the situation and informed the Moroccan side about using sanctions towards this ship owner. The Russian party will take all necessary measures in order to make sure the Russian ship-owner’s implementation of the Agreement’s Article 13.

The Moroccan party marked that 8,7% of the catches was sent for fish flour production in stead of 5% as previously agreed by the parties.

That is why the Russian party represented research results FGUP “AtlantNIRO”, saying, that the amount of raw material sent for producing fish flour and fatty acids exceeds 5% that is connected with increase of defective fish, presence of inedible kinds of fish in the catches, and fish with low commercial value.

The Moroccan party took into account the information and will express its opinion about the question later.

2.
About science and technical collaboration.

The Joint Committee summed up the results of the joint science and technical works which were carried by institutions of both parties (AtlantNIRO, VNORO, NIRI) within the Agreement 2007-2008, and marked with pleasure reached results.

With a view of fulfilment of scientific researches of pelagic ecosystem of Morocco Atlantic area, the condition of pelagic kinds of fish resource and their exploitation, the Joint Committee agreed upon the following program of collaboration:

à) Conducting a joint expedition on the Russian scientific and exploration vessels and collecting of biostatistics information:

- expedition on valuation of replenishment of pelagic fish species in the area between Cape Safi and Cape Blanc, the duration about 5 weeks (November, December 2008);

- expedition on valuation of condition of pelagic ecosystem in the area between Cape Gip (?) and Cape Blanc including hydroacoustic researches for biomass estimation of pelagic fish and study of oceanographic conditions, plankton and ichthyoplanton, the duration about 5 weeks (summer 2009);

- expedition on valuation of replenishment of pelagic kinds of fish in the area between Cape Safi and Cape Blanc, the duration about 5 weeks (autumn, winter 2009-2010);

- fulfilment of the program of collecting biostatistic information about catches on Russian fishing vessels, carried by Russian scientific assistants.

b) Other researches.

The Joint Committee marked with satisfaction the broadening of the scientific collaboration in the aquaculture, processing sea products and genetic researches on fish populations, and approved the program and plan of joint researches in this area.

c) Joint meeting of scientists, and exchange of experts.

The Joint Committee finds it necessary to continue the meetings of directors and scientists of scientific institutions of both countries (AtlantNIRO, VNORO, NIRI) in turns in Russia and Morocco in order to determine the aims of scientific works and projects specification of joint research programs and means of their fulfilment.

Terms of these meetings and exchange of experts will be fixed by directors of institutions of both countries.

3.
About questions of export of Moroccan seafood to Russia.

The Moroccan party welcomed with satisfaction the request from Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Office about according a list of Moroccan enterprises which are interested in receiving permission for exporting their products to Russia.

The Moroccan party expressed again its desire about recognition of the Moroccan system of control and certification in order to stimulate exports of Moroccan sea products to the Russian market.

4.
About order and conditions of work for Russian fishing vessels in Atlantic Morocco fishing area for the 3rd year of the Agreement force.

The Moroccan party informed that the conditions of fishing in the Atlantic zone of Morocco for Russian ships remain as the year before:

- catch quota and a number of ships are established correspondingly 120 000 tons and 12 units;

- quota given for joint projects - 80 000 tons;

- catch composition by species as following:

no less than 23 % - sardine, sardinella,

no more than 70 % - mackerel, horse-mackerel, anchovy,

7 % - in-catch, including sword-fish.

According to the amount of fish sent to the flour and fatty acid production, the Joint Committee made a decision to keep this amount on the level of 5% from the catch as it is fixed for Moroccan producers working in this area.

More over, the Moroccan Party reminds one more time, that prices used for counting financial compensation for the right to catch given to Russian ships owners, haven’t been changed since 1996.

These prices will be automatically recounted according to the Agreement points from the moment the national management plan of catching small pelagic kinds of fish in South-Atlantic Morocco area comes to force and will be spread on all fishing ships working within this plan.

The Moroccan Party will inform about new prices after the Morocco government approve them.

Use of new prices come to force after special session of the Russian-Moroccan Joint Fisheries Committee initiated by the Morocco Party on term no later 1 month from the date of notification.

5.
About joint projects in developing 80 thousand tons of small pelagic kinds of fish.

Taking into account the interest of both parties in realization of corresponding point of the Agreement, the Russian Party offered to conduct a meeting with the purpose of deep developmental work on the question and rapprochement of the Parties’ positions in realization of joint projects.

The Moroccan Party accepted the offer and informed that during the meeting the national management plan of caching small pelagic kinds of fish may be introduced and according to it the conditions of joint projects realization.

The date of the meeting will be coordinated between the Parties.

Moreover, with the view of strengthening the collaborations in marine fisheries, the Parties agreed about the necessity to coordinate positions in the international fisheries organizations and also expressed their desire to apply necessary force in prevention and suppression of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Parties expressed satisfaction in sincerity of intentions, appeared during the discussion, and of friendship atmosphere and mutual understanding during the session.

Done in Saint Petersburg 11 October 2008 in duplicate in Russian and French languages each, both texts have equal force.

For the Russian delegation Sergej PODOLYAN

For the Moroccan delegation Mohammed TARMIDI

    

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