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EU Fishing activities, Madagascar


Madagascar was the first Indian Oncean country to sign, in 1986, a fishing agreement with the EU. It is the poorest country involved in such agreements with the EU and it retains strong economic links with its former colonial ruler, France, one of the countries which benefits most from these fishing agreements, as evidenced by its large Distant Water Fleets (DWF) present in most agreements.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict: EU Fishing activities, Madagascar
State or province:Antsiranana
Location of conflict:North-West coast
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Aquaculture and fisheries
Specific commodities:Shrimps
Tuna and Billfishes
Project Details and Actors
Project details

According to official data, production of 15,000 to 25,000 tons/year of fishery resources are caught and exported from Madagascar. But according to researchers from the University of Plymouth, almost 80,000 tons/year of fishery resources are exported from Madagascar to EU and Asia.

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Level of Investment:2,075,000 per year
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:100,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2010
Company names or state enterprises:Pêche et Froid Ocean Indien (PFOI) from France
Relevant government actors:European Union (EU), Ministry of Fisheries
Malagasy Fisheries and Aquaculture Agency
Fisheries Monitoring Centre
Fishing Resources Sanitary Agency
Ministry of Fishery
International and Finance InstitutionsAgence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) from France
European Union (EU)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Blue Ventures Conservation ; The Pew Environment Group ; Mongabay ; WWF
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local government/political parties
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
An international team of researchers from Madagascar, the EU, Canada and the World Bank published a Report and scientific articles to raise ethical questions around the EU fishing activities in Madagascar ; Public campaign by Mongabay and Blue Ventures ; Launching of a "Stop Illegal Fishing Program" by the Ministry of Fisheries
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Potential: Global warming, Food insecurity (crop damage)
Other Environmental impactsDepletion of fish stocks ; endangered species
Health ImpactsVisible: Malnutrition
Other Health impactsMany communities living along the coastline are very concerned about the decrease in catch these last 10 years. This situation has a direct impact on the public health of local communities because they depend heavily on marine resources for subsistence.
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Potential: Militarization and increased police presence
Other socio-economic impactsFood security crisis ; Malnutrition ; Hunger
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Institutional changes
Development of alternatives:Developing a more equitable framework for EU fishing agreements with Madagascar by:
1/ Developing domestic capacity to exploit domestic fisheries
2/ Increasing the level of the access fees for EU vessels operating in Madagascar like in the Pacific Ocean (50% of the gross revenue)
3/ Providing Madagascar a developement assistance directly and independently of negotiations of the EU's commercial access to Madagascar's fisheries resources
4/ Supporting Madagascar's Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MSC) System
5/ Encouraging EU vessels to report honestly their EEZ catches throughout the Western Indian Ocean and stop overfishing.
6/ Encouraging western Indian Ocean countries to work together and create a "Forum Fisheries Agency"-type institution as exists in Pacific
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:According to an international panel of scientists, EU fishing agreements with Madagascar are in direct contradiction to the goals set forth by the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Rather than provinding Madagascar with a means of obtaingin equitable and fair benefits from its fisheries resources, its agreement with the EU currently constitutes little more than a direct economic benefit to EU vessel owners.
The EU attitude toward Madagascar is indecipherable. The total compensation per tonne of tuna caught in Madagascar, negotiated with the EU, is 15% less than the amount for Mauritius and Mozambique (132 euros/tonne for Madagascar and 158 euros/tonne for Mauritius and Mozambique).
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

EU and Madagascar initialled a new 4 year-Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement
[click to view]

European Union's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Who gets what? Developing a more equitable framework for EU fishing agreements in Madagascar
[click to view]

Unreported fishing, hungry people and political turmoil: the recipe for a food security crisis in Madagascar?
[click to view]

The EU underpays Madagascar for access to fish: UBC research
[click to view]

EU suspected of not honoring its Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Madagascar
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Does the EU underpay Madagascar for access to fish ?
[click to view]

EU suspected of not honoring its Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Madagascar
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update18/08/2019
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