Guinea Bissau government re-launches fishing negotiations with EU

16 May 2007

Bissau, Guinea Bissau, 16 May – The government of Guinea Bissau is to re-start negotiations on fishing with the European Union (EU) which were brought to a close by the previous government, the Guinean finance minister, Issuf Sanhá said Tuesday in Bissau.

Speaking to Portuguese news agency Lusa, the minister said that a delegation made up of representatives of the ministries of Finance and Fisheries is to travel to Brussels Monday to re-start negotiations on the compensation funds that the EU will provide to Guinea Bissau for fishing in its territorial waters.

The previous Guinean government, led by Aristides Gomes, broke off negotiations with the EU, Guinea Bissau’s main partner in the fisheries sector, due to alleged disagreements about the value of the compensation funds.

The problem occurred due to the Guinean government having increased its demand for payment from 7.2 million euros to 10 million euros per year from the EU, which has 60 fishing vessels in Guinean waters for fishing tuna, shrimp and cephalopods.

The EU, which has sent a negotiating team to Bissau from Brussels, said the figure was too high, alleging that Guinean waters had not be adequately inspected.

According to the current finance minister, the government, “cannot allow itself the luxury of not reaching agreement with the European Union,” in the fishing sector, as around 40 percent of budget revenue come from these funds. (macauhub)