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In an interview with today’s edition of the newspaper Noticias, Mozambique’s Minister of Fisheries Agostinho Mondlan accuses the European Union (EU) of lack of transparency in national-waters tuna fishery negotiations.
“We feel that there is a willingness of the EU to perpetuate into the fourth generation agreement a lack of transparency. We think we can discuss this with any other bloc, but never with the EU, which is a community governed by rules of good governance,” the minister said.
According to the minister, the EU has rejected a clause on monitoring the catch, a point that has been hindering a new agreement since 2015.
The EU wrote to the government three months ago to announce its readiness to start new talks, the minister said.
“We, as Mozambique, are open to resuming [negotiations], but I must assert that those who stopped the negotiation were they themselves and, whenever we went to the table, they asked us to withdraw the transparency clauses,” the minister said.
Minister Mondlane recounted how, at the beginning of the current mandate in 2015, the Mozambican government presented proposals for new clauses, one of them relating to the declaration of catches.
“The vessels were catching the fish and only communicated that they came in and went out,” he said, and it was the vessels “who informed us what they caught”.
Mozambique wanted its inspectors to enter the vessels and there was also a discussion about updating the fees paid by the EU, which were set below what should be charged because of other donations being taken into account.
But, after the calculations were made, “they did not constitute what we consider a fair rate”, Minister Mondlane said.
Lusa has sought clarification from the EU delegation in Mozambique but has not yet received a response.Source: Lusa
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