Today, the European Union and the Cook Islands agreed to continue their successful fisheries partnership as part of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement, for a duration of three years. The agreement allows EU fishing vessels operating in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean to continue fishing in the Cook Islands fishing grounds. Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said: “With the renewal of this Fisheries Protocol, European Union vessels will be able to continue fishing one of the healthiest tropical tuna stocks. We are particularly proud to contribute, through our sectoral support, to the development of the Cook Islands’ fisheries sector – a Small Island Developing State that has been often praised for its effective and responsible fisheries management policies. This is how the EU’s Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements work in practice.” In the framework of the new Protocol, the EU and ship owners will contribute with a total up to approximately €4 million (NZD 6.8 million) for the next three years, of which €1 million (NZD 1.7 million) to support the Cook Islands’ initiatives within the sectoral fisheries and maritime policy. Overall, next to improvements in the fishing sector, the revenue obtained from this Agreement has previously allowed the Cook Islands’ government to improve its social welfare system. More information is in the news item.
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