Morocco bans EU fishing vessels amid Western Sahara row

23 Dec 2011

Morocco bans EU fishing vessels amid Western Sahara row

morocco news fishing

The EU paid 36m euros a year to Morocco to fish its waters
Continue reading the main story
Related Stories

Morocco's fish fight: High stakes over Western Sahara
Western Sahara profile
Fishing: A story of less for more
Morocco has ordered foreign fishing boats operating in its waters under an EU deal to leave immediately.

The moves comes after the European Parliament voted not to extend a deal under which the EU paid Morocco for access to its fish stocks.

MEPs said the deal was illegal as it did not benefit the people living in the disputed Western Sahara, off which most of the fishing took place.

The ministry said the parliament's decision was "regrettable".

In a statement, it said the move could have "serious consequences for co-operation between Morocco and the European Union in fishing".

The EU - Morocco's largest trading partner - had been paying 36m euros (£30m: $47m) a year to Morocco for the right to fish in its waters, primarily off the coast of Western Sahara.

The deal officially expired in February, and the EU wanted it to be renewed up until February next year.

But on Wednesday, MEPs using powers granted under the Lisbon Treaty voted 326 to 296 to block the renewal, saying there was not enough evidence to show the deal would benefit the Sahrawi population, who live in Western Sahara.

Critics of the deal also said it was a waste of public funds and led to over-fishing.

Morocco annexed Western Sahara in 1976 but its claims of sovereignty have not been internationally recognised.

The separatist Polisario movement fought a guerrilla war against Moroccan troops until 1991 and still seeks to be recognised as an independent state.

The European Parliament said a new deal should be negotiated which does more to take the Western Sahara issue into account.

from BBC NEWS.



We had a fantastic time and all returned very relaxed.


We had a fantastic time and all returned very relaxed.  

We had no problems with any of the transfers, all worked really well and we got to see the same driver several times which was good.

The first hotel, Les Deux Tours, was really relaxing and we loved it.  Trips into Marrakech were awesome.  It is ...

Graham Ayres

Nearby older Berber women in brilliantly coloured skirts were already hard at work, picking mounds of animal feed.

Freelance travel writer, Fiona Dunlop, travelled to Southern Morocco with Lawrence of Morocco in April 2013, writing for the Independent.

Recent News

We know Morocco intimately

Max Lawrence - MD Lawrence of Morocco

Thank you for taking time to look at this site. Our site is a culmination of my 30 years and my fathers 50 years of experience in Morocco. We really know Morocco and have had the pleasure of making many people's dream trips become reality over the years. It has been my privilege to be asked to manage holidays, weddings and productions for so many fantastic and discerning clients. We remain small and dedicated to providing excellent honest advice to enable you to sit back, relax and enjoy the fun bits without having to manage the unpredictability of this fascinating country.

If you want it done right, look no further!

Max Lawrence, Managing Director

Travelling, living and working in Morocco since 1986.