Date of Award
Master of Science in Maritime Affairs
Maritime Administration & Environmental Protection
Traditionally, Moroccan fishery resources have constituted an Important asset for the country’s economy. Today the fisheries sector has become a matter of increasing concern to the local authorities since fish stocks located both within the coastal state 200-mlle Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the adjacent high seas are being depleted by overfishing. A considerable part of the problem of over-exploitation is mainly caused by European fishing vessels, which have taken a maximum of precautions to preserve their fisheries access to the Moroccan waters by means of licences, granted in majority to Spanish boats in the frame of a renewal of the four-year term fishing agreement between Morocco and the European Union (EU). In this regard, Morocco succeeded last year in cutting down the second four year fishing agreement (1992-1996) to three years, displacing the earlier granted access to European fishing boats. The main reason for this interruption is that scientists at the Scientific Institute of Ocean Fisheries (ISPM) in Casablanca, in collaboration with Tenerife Fisheries Institute, in Spain, had prepared a research report on stocks in the Moroccan waters, which concluded that the fish potential will no longer remain taking into account the current rhythm of exploitation. Accordingly, the Moroccan and European negotiators succeeded in signing a new deal last November 1995, after the EU Commission had agreed to all the fishing requirements that the Moroccan Government had repeatedly sustained in order to ensure the stable and rational fisheries management in accordance with the provisions of the International Law of the Sea. In the present research, the author intends to examine this ongoing fishing issue through the conclusion of successive agreements, which led the binding parties to economically, politically, and legally enhance their co-operation towards the implementation of an integrated fisheries management. The first chapter, therefore, will provide a general description of the Moroccan fishing sector with its geographical and socio-economic considerations as well as institutional and legal support. The second chapter will describe the stakes involved in the fishing relationship between Morocco and the EU, taking into account the socio-economic and political aspects of their respective economies. The third chapter will deal with the legal and compensatory aspects of the fishing agreements, highlighting the fishing practices in the Moroccan waters and the compensation issues involved in the granting of Moroccan fishing rights. This chapter will also emphasize the current national fishing regulations and their enforcement; Subsequently, the fourth chapter will analyse the rights and obligations of states with regard to the international conventions and conferences dealing with fisheries conservation and management; Consequently, the fifth chapter will attempt to propose an integrated fisheries management on the Moroccan coasts, based on some objectives and strategies, the current national action plan, and some technical restrictions as regards fishing access. Finally, in respect of the above assessment, the author will conclude by making some proposals for further improvement of the co-operation between Morocco and the EU in matters of sustainable fisheries conservation and development.