‘A win-win’ – the deals attempting to make global fishing more sustainable

By: Denis Loctier

Ocean examines how international fishing agreements between the EU and other countries are helping to create jobs and healthier seas in West Africa.

Pombas is a small city on Santo Antão, the western most island of the Cape Verde archipelago in the central Atlantic. One obstacle to fishing at sea is the need for a motorised boat. Luckily, the fishermen of Pombas recently got a brand new boat paid for by Cape Verde’s government. Thanks to a partnership agreement with the European Union.

The sun-drying method has been popular here for centuries, however the sun is also now being harnessed in other ways to keep what is caught fresh. New solar-powered ice machines enable cold storage, meaning the villagers no longer have to rush to the market with their catch.

The country’s former sea minister, Paulo Veiga, also believes the deal, which allows nearly 70 vessels from Spain, Portugal and France to fish in Cape’s Verde’s waters, brings big benefits: “I think it’s a win-win situation. From the European Union we get not only a financial support, but also know-how and new technology, and from our side that they’ll get to explore sustainably our fisheries resource.”