The EU and Cook Islands are continuing their successful fisheries partnership Photo: EC
The European Union and the Cook Islands have agreed to continue their successful fisheries partnership as part of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement, for a duration of three years.
The agreement allows EU fishing vessels operating in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean to continue fishing in the Cook Islands fishing grounds.
“With the renewal of this fisheries protocol, European Union vessels will be able to continue fishing one of the healthiest tropical tuna stocks,” said Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.
“We are particularly proud to contribute, through our sectoral support, to the development of the Cook Islands’ fisheries sector – a small island developing state that has been often praised for its effective and responsible fisheries management policies.”
Under the terms of the new protocol, the EU and ship owners will contribute approximately €4 million for the next three years, of which €1 million will support the Cook Islands’ initiatives within the sectoral fisheries and maritime policy.
Each year, purse seiners in the WCPO fish for more than 50,000 days, providing for more than half of the global tuna catch. In the Cook Islands itself, the maximum number of days is of 1,250.
The protocol will allow the four Union purse seiners operating in the WCPO to fish up to 100 fishing days annually within the Cook Islands waters, with the possibility for the ship owners to buy an additional 110 days.