The EU and Guinea Bissau have signed a sustainable fishing partnership agreement protocol. Image: FAO

The EU and Guinea Bissau have this month signed a new five-year protocol to the existing Sustainable Fishing Partnership Agreement (SFPA).

According to the European Commission, this new protocol fully reflects the long-standing spirit of the EU partnership and the general principles of the EU Common Fisheries Policy such as sustainable management of resources, legal stability, transparency, science-based access and monitoring, and the sustainable development of the partner country fisheries sector.

Taking fully into account scientific advice, this new protocol allows access of EU vessels to the waters of Guinea Bissau for several fish species, such as tuna, demersal species, cephalopods, shrimps, as well as a new category of small pelagic species.

In exchange for the fishing rights, the EU will offer a financial contribution of 15.6 million plus an additional contribution from the EU vessel operators. An annual EU contribution of 4 million is earmarked for supporting sustainable fisheries development, in particular through measures in favour of monitoring, control and surveillance, reinforcement of export and scientific capacities and the modernisation of small scale fisheries.

This protocol will have an important and positive impact on the social and economic development of the country, and will help bring added value to its natural resources, while contributing to food security.