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 EU Fishing activities, Madagascar
SiteNorth-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 CommoditiesTuna and Billfishes
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsAccording 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.

Almost 4,200,000 tons of fish caught from 1950 to 2008 (Source: Marine Policy 2012).

Malagasy Treasury Revenue from European fishing is around 1,7 million Euro per year in exchange for 13,300 t of tuna which is much more less favorable for Madagascar than it has been in previous years.

EU is receiving 30% more tuna than a quarter century ago (quota increase from 10,000t to 13,300t) for a total fishing fee that has declined by 20%.

There are today 492 EU-vessels registered in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), plus another 5 vessels to the French Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT). IOTC estimated in 2010 that about 150 of those vessels were actively fishing.

Production of 10,000 tons/year of prawns representing 75,000,000 $.

An Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of nearly 1,8000,000 square km created in Madagascar

100,000 people live and work in the 1,250 coastal communities in Madagascar.

150 EU vessels actively fishing in Madagascar, mainly from France - Spain, Portugal and Italy
Level of Investment (in USD)2,075,000 per year
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population100,000
Start Date01/01/2010
Company Names or State EnterprisesPêche et Froid Ocean Indien (PFOI) from France
Relevant government actorsEuropean Union (EU), Ministry of Fisheries

Malagasy Fisheries and Aquaculture Agency

Fisheries Monitoring Centre

Fishing Resources Sanitary Agency

Ministry of Fishery

International and Financial InstitutionsAgence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) from France
European Union (EU)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersBlue Ventures Conservation ; The Pew Environment Group ; Mongabay ; WWF
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Local government/political parties
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment 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)
OtherDepletion of fish stocks ; endangered species
Health ImpactsVisible: Malnutrition
OtherMany 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-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Potential: Militarization and increased police presence
OtherFood security crisis ; Malnutrition ; Hunger
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseInstitutional changes
Development of AlternativesDeveloping 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 as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.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 and Materials

European Union's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)
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EU and Madagascar initialled a new 4 year-Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement
[click to view]


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

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

EU suspected of not honoring its Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Madagascar
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The EU underpays Madagascar for access to fish: UBC research
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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]

Other Documents

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Meta Information
Last update12/02/2015