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European policies in West Africa: who benefits from fisheries agreements?


  • Kaczynski, Vlad M.
  • Fluharty, David L.


Fishery cooperation agreements with the Sub-Saharan West African coastal states are considered by the European Union as purely commercial deals that are designed to maximize access to coastal state fishery resources, secure employment for European harvesting and processing industries and supply European seafood consumption markets at the lowest possible cost. Financial compensation paid by Brussels to the West African countries for fishing rights covers two-thirds or more of the license fees and is a subsidy for European vessel owners. This subsidy puts EU in position of a preferred user of the coastal resources. That displaces foreign investors and local entrepreneurs in the coastal states, distorts economics of the European fishing enterprises and promotes excessive pressure on the resources that greatly harms the marine environment in the West African region. Analysis of EU's relations with Guinea-Bissau shows that together with manipulation of the size of fishing fleet used by EU in this country's waters, there were significant irregularities resulting from excessive by-catch, underpayment of tuna license fees and denial of timely statistical information for the coastal state. Continuation of this type of relations with Sub-Saharan West Africa is against the long-term interests of the coastal states and sustainability of the coastal resources. Unless significant changes in fishing policies of the EU are made, West African coastal countries will face severe overexploitation of their resources and subsequent drop in license revenues. The EU's departure from purely business approach in fisheries relations with the West African coastal countries and termination of subsidization of the European fleets should be considered as important steps toward new fisheries relations with the region On other hand, coastal states should undertake more coordinated approach in dealing with foreign pressures on their resources and harmonize negotiation of the fisheries agreements with the EU. They also must improve the investment climate so foreign fleet operators would be encouraged to integrate their offshore activity with the coastal states' economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaczynski, Vlad M. & Fluharty, David L., 2002. "European policies in West Africa: who benefits from fisheries agreements?," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 75-93, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:26:y:2002:i:2:p:75-93

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Burton, Peter S., 2003. "Community enforcement of fisheries effort restrictions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2, Supple), pages 474-491, March.
    2. Parzival Copes, 1999. "The Need for Balance in Canada's Fisheries Policy," Discussion Papers dp00-09, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, revised Feb 2000.
    3. Benchekroun, Hassan & Van Long, Ngo, 2002. "Transboundary Fishery: A Differential Game Model," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(274), pages 207-221, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Béné, Christophe & Arthur, Robert & Norbury, Hannah & Allison, Edward H. & Beveridge, Malcolm & Bush, Simon & Campling, Liam & Leschen, Will & Little, David & Squires, Dale & Thilsted, Shakuntala H. &, 2016. "Contribution of Fisheries and Aquaculture to Food Security and Poverty Reduction: Assessing the Current Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 177-196.
    2. Rammelt, Crelis Ferdinand & van Schie, Maarten, 2016. "Ecology and equity in global fisheries: Modelling policy options using theoretical distributions," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 337(C), pages 107-122.
    3. Corten, Ad, 2014. "EU–Mauritania fisheries partnership in need of more transparency," Marine Policy, Elsevier, pages 1-11.
    4. repec:spr:ieaple:v:17:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10784-016-9337-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ramòn Jiménez-Toribio & Patrice Guillotreau & Rémi Mongruel, 2009. "Global integration of European tuna markets," Working Papers hal-00430014, HAL.
    6. Nichols, Rachel & Yamazaki, Satoshi & Jennings, Sarah & Watson, Reg A., 2015. "Fishing access agreements and harvesting decisions of host and distant water fishing nations," Marine Policy, Elsevier, pages 77-85.
    7. Mulazzani, Luca & Malorgio, Giulio, 2015. "Is there coherence in the European Union’s strategy to guarantee the supply of fish products from abroad?," Marine Policy, Elsevier, pages 1-10.
    8. Béné, Christophe & Lawton, Rebecca & Allison, Edward H., 2010. ""Trade Matters in the Fight Against Poverty": Narratives, Perceptions, and (Lack of) Evidence in the Case of Fish Trade in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 933-954, July.
    9. Kaczynski Wlodzimierz, 2011. "The Future of Blue Economy: Lessons for European Union," Foundations of Management, De Gruyter Open, vol. 3(1), pages 21-32, January.
    10. U. Sumaila & Ahmed Khan & Andrew Dyck & Reg Watson & Gordon Munro & Peter Tydemers & Daniel Pauly, 2010. "A bottom-up re-estimation of global fisheries subsidies," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, pages 201-225.
    11. Mundt, Matthias, 2012. "The effects of EU fisheries partnership agreements on fish stocks and fishermen: The case of Cape Verde," IPE Working Papers 12/2012, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).

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