The Congress of Deputies overwhelmingly passed the non-binding proposition from the Popular Parliamentary Group (GPP) requiring the urgent renovation of the fishing agreement between the European Union (EU) and Morocco.


The proposal was approved by 298 votes in favour, 28 against and 3 abstentions, EFE agency informed.


Joaquin Garcia Diez, GPP deputy, defended the initiative to prevent Spanish vessels from extended inactivity and the increase of unemployment level in populations which are highly dependent on fishing, such as the fishermen of Barbate.


In this city, 50 per cent of economic activity depends on the product of fishing in Moroccan waters, the legislator said, writes FIS.COM
For Garcia Diez, the new protocol must be supported by scientific reports and take into account the requirements of European Parliament (EP), and the opinion of the industry and the autonomous communities.


Members of the Popular Party (PP) and the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) also reached consensus on the amendments tabled by the Socialists, seeking immediate implementation of the aid fund provided for the duration of the fisheries suspension.


However, Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) party opposed this idea, so it could not vote. Meanwhile, the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), the Plural Left and Progress and Democracy Union (UPD), in addition to ERC, filed motions related to the status of Western Sahara, none of which was accepted by the popular group.


The amendment of the PNV intended that the respect for human rights in that area, and the benefits it would mean for the Sahrawi people, were specified, or either the exclusion of these waters from it.


While the Plural Left calls for “full compliance with international law”, which requires that economic activities related to the resources of a non-autonomous territory, such as the Saharan one, was performed for the benefit of its inhabitants and according to their wishes.


Meanwhile, Ana Oramas, deputy for the Canarian Coalition, stressed that 250 direct and 2,000 indirect jobs depend on fishing in the Canary Islands in this fishery. Since 14 December 2011, when the EP vetoed the extension of the agreement, more than 70 boats are moored.


The deal offered 119 licenses to the European fleet, plus an additional fee for pelagic species such as anchovy, mackerel and herring.In return, the EU paid EUR 36.1 million a year to the Moroccan government, of which EUR 13.5 million were destined to develop the local fishing industry.