Sao Tome and Principe: Prime Minister plans to review EU fishing agreement

17 March 2008

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 17 March – The prime minister of Sao tome and Principe, Patrice Trovoada, said Thursday in Sao Tome that his government planned to review all fishing agreements signed with international partners.

On presenting his government program to the National Assembly, the prime minister said he believed it was necessary to review all agreements signed in order to create conditions for future agreements to be fairer and more balanced.

The decision is focused on the European Union (EU) the only international partner with which Sao Tome and Principe has signed this type of agreement.

The European Union has a fishing agreement with the Sao Tome and Principe archipelago under the terms of which over 40 fishing vessels, mainly from Spain, are authorized to fish in Sao Tome’s waters.

In return, the EU pays Sao Tome 860,000 euros per year, with strict conditions for use, with the development of traditional fishing in Sao Tome as one of the conditions.

A source from the Directorate-General for fishing told Portuguese news agency Lusa that “this agreement includes an inspection component which was very badly negotiated,” which left Sao Tome and Principe “totally unable to inspect the European ships that fish in our waters.”

Speaking to the press some three months ago, the director general for fishing said that the country had handed over its fishing resources “on a plate.” (macauhub)