Sao Tome waiting to receive payback for EU fishing agreement

24 May 2006

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 24 May – Sao Tome will receive a payment relating to the fishing agreement the country signed with the European Union (EU), valued at US$815,000, said Sao Tome’s Minister for the Economy and Fisheries.

Minister Cristina Fernandes is currently leading the negotiations for the new fishing agreement with the EU, a week ahead of the deadline for the previous agreement to end on May 31.

According to Fernandes, cited by Sao Tome daily newspaper, Tela Non, the value of the payback for the agreement for 2006 “will be unlocked within three or four more weeks.”

The minister added that the EU authorities had proposed to reduce the number fo ships with access to Sao Tome’s waters, which currently stands at 63, which would mean that the payback received by Sao Tome next year would be reduced.

“They are proposing to use just 43 ships. This is a drastic reduction that is of no benefit to us,” said Fernandes.

According to the Sao Tome press, the new agreement should be signed within the next few days.

The Sao Tome authorities are still looking to the EU to boost supervision in the archipelago’s economic exclusive area.

According to Tela Non, the government of Tomé Vera Cruz plans to set up Sao Tome inspection teams on board EU fishing vessels. (macauhub)