Fishing problems: Unfair Fisheries Partnership Agreements
In the 1970s, many coastal countries established offshore 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) - in part to protect their fisheries. This meant that foreign vessels had to negotiate with the country concerned to obtain legal access to their waters.
Economically developed countries, or trading blocks like the European Union, still negotiate Fisheries Partnership Agreements with the countries where their fleets want to fish. Spain, for example, had such agreements with 18 countries in 2004, 16 of which were developing countries - as far apart as Cape Verde in the Atlantic Ocean and Kiribati in the Western Pacific Ocean.
Under these deals, the recipient government receives a lump sum to allow foreign boats in their waters. Fisheries Partnership Agreements with developing countries can, if properly designed, provide well-needed foreign exchange and contribute to sustainable development.
However, these deals have been widely criticized for contributing to overfishing, threatening the food security of developing countries, and preventing the development of local fishing industries. Developed countries have also been accused of paying minimum fees for rich fishing grounds and paying little attention to illegal fishing by their fleets in distant waters.
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