By Landing Colley
James F. P. Gomez, Honorable Minister for Fisheries and Water Resource has disclosed that the agreement between The Gambia and European Union is still standing and review every year.
But he noted that unfortunately, this year officials couldn’t travel due to covid-19.
He explained to the lawmakers that there is a team onboard that is observing the agreement.
It could be recalled that The Gambia and European Union on 31 July 2019 signed a six-year sustainable fisheries partnership agreement (SFPA) and associated protocol setting out the fishing opportunities for EU vessels.
according to the agreement document, EU should finance compensation and the modalities of sectorial support to the fishing sector of The Gambia and the current protocol to the fisheries partnership agreement.
The agreement also indicates that EU should pay €550,000 per year – between 2019 to 2025 and a specific contribution of €275,000 is dedicated to the support of the fisheries policy of The Gambia.
The fisheries agreement also allows EU vessels from Spain, Greece and France to fish in the Gambian waters and is part of the tuna network fisheries agreements in West Africa.
Honorable James F. P. Gomez confirmed that “The agreement between the Gambia and the European Union is still in force and every year we review the agreement but unfortunately this year we couldn’t travel due to covid-19.”
According to him “there is an observer on board that is observing the agreement which says: if you catch less than what the agreement says they will not pay the Gambia but if they catch more than what the agreement says then they will pay the Gambia.”
“There is actual monitoring of catching of fish on daily basis and they give this report to both the EU and the Gambia. There is no substantive change during our last review what we did in covid-19 response was to build toilets and also provide taps in the different landing site which was taken from the budget.”