Mozambique accuses EU of lack of transparency in tuna fishery negotiations

Mozambique accuses EU of lack of transparency in tuna fishery negotiations

The Mozambican Minister for fisheries accused the European Union (EU) of lack of transparency in the negotiations of tuna fishery in the waters of that Lusophone country, in an interview published on today's edition of Jornal de Notícias.

'We felt that the EU wanted to perpetuate a lack of transparency in the fourth generation of the agreement. We believe we can tolerate this from any other bloc, but never from the EU, which is a community built upon rules of good governance', said Agostinho Mondlane.

According to the Mozambican minister, the EU has rejected a clause on the control of catches brought in by vessels, and this is the point that has prevented a new agreement since 2015.

The EU wrote to the Mozambican government three months ago to announce its willingness to start new talks, the minister said.

'We, like Mozambique, are open to resuming negotiations, but I would like it to be clear that those who stopped the negotiations were them and, whenever we sat for negotiation, they asked us to withdraw the transparency clauses', the minister said.

Agostinho Mondlane described that, at the beginning of the current government cycle, in 2015, the Mozambican government presented proposals for new clauses, one of them relating to the reporting of catches.

'The vessels caught the fish and only reported that they came and went', and that, 'they themselves reported what they caught', he said.

Mozambique wanted its inspectors to enter the vessels and there was also a discussion about the updating of the rates paid by the EU, set below what should be charged because other benefits were taken into account.

But, adding it all together, 'they did not pay what we consider to be a fair rate', he said.

Lusa has sought clarification from the EU delegation in Mozambique but has not yet received a response.