Sao Tome and Principe: New fishing agreement signed with Japan

31 March 2008

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 31 March – Sao Tome and Principe and Japan have signed a new agreement for the fishing sector, as part of their bilateral cooperation, the Sao Tome Fisheries Minister, Valdemira Tavares said Friday in Sao Tome.

Signed less than a week ago in Tokyo, Japan, the agreement, which is valid for 12 months and is renewable, allows Japanese fishing vessels the right to fish for tuna in the exclusive waters of Sao Tome and Principe, the minister said.

“We will give licenses to the vessels in the Japanese cooperative for tuna fishing in our waters,” Tavares said, adding that according to the agreement the Japanese fishing activities will be inspected by an international body.

In return, along with food aid to the Sao Tome archipelago, Japan will provide technical and financial assistance as well as training to Sao Tome staff in the area of fishing, she added.

She also said that Japan would support Sao Tome and Principe in the area of fishing facilities, particularly in setting up a yard for construction of small fibreglass vessels and production of materials for traditional fishing as well as to repair fishing vessels.

Along with the European Union (EU), Japan is one of Sao Tome’s main partners in the fishing sector as it provide equipment to the archipelago, including fishing vessels, motors, nets and other accessories, as well as training.

As well as fishing, Japan has also provided social aid by donating around US1.3 million in rice to Sao Tome and Principe, amongst other aid projects. (macauhub)