European fishing commissioner Franz Fischler on Thursday, April 5, abandoned talks with Morocco over allowing Spanish and Portuguese fisherman to fish in their waters.
He suggested the European Union find ways to aid Spanish and Portuguese fishermen who would lose their jobs.
Fischler's decision came after talks aimed at allowing boats from Spain and Portugal to work in Moroccan waters collapsed on March 26.
He suggested the EU find ways to convert fishing boats so they could sail farther down the African coast, and encourage substitute activities for other fishermen such as aquaculture, tourism, and jobs in service industries.
Finally, he urged that the EU "encourage the demolition of boats that cannot be used for any other purpose," in a reference to barely-seaworthy craft whose renovation is not economically viable.
A fishing accord between the EU and Morocco expired on November 30, 1999. It had allowed around 4,000 fishermen from Spain and Portugal to ply Moroccan waters. — (AFP, Brussels)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)