European experience, specially that of some of the new members of the Community, has been difficult in terms of relations with African countries, for example. The impact of new treaties has been initially negative for fishworkers and for those countries, in general. Although significant financial resources have been in- volved, CEE ships have taken over artisan fishing grounds in Senegal, for example, destroying fishing skills and triggering social conflict. The treaties have given priority to companies connected with local governing groups and have generated profits at the cost of artisan fishworkers and the countries, as a whole.

Serious conflicts arose in Namibia over the presence of Spanish trolling fleets taking herring. That new country expelled those fleets from its jurisdictional waters, while a new treaty with the CEE has not yet been signed, given that Namibia is seeking to impose severe restrictions.

Europeans claim to be aware of those difficulties and, for that reason, have created so-called “second generation treaties”, such as that signed with Argentina at the end of 1992.

The main points of that treaty should be considered by fishworkers throughout the world because it may affect them eventually:

  • The treaty will be in effect for 5 years and grants Community access to new fishing opportunities, of great commercial value, and will reduce the idle capacity of the European fleet considerably.
  • It allows for catches of up to 250 tons annually of species which are very valuable commercially (including 120 thousand tons of hubbsi herring), conger and other resources.
  • Access is given to foreign ships, many of which will fly the flags of member countries, while others will operate in temporary associations, through which they will have access to a third of the total catch quotas for the species mentioned in the treaty.
  • The treaty allows for the permanent transfer of a significant number of Community ships through the creation of joint companies, in, which Europeans may hold up to 100% of the capital. That part of the fleet, under the Argentinean flag, will have access to two thirds of total catch quotas.
  • In exchange, the European Community will offer commercial concessions in favour of sales in the European market, by way of tariff reductions for fish product imports from Argentina.
  • During the five year term of the treaty, the European Community will invest 162.5 million ECUs, European Monetary Units, of which 95.4 million will subsidize the joint ventures, 39.1 will be investments in those companies, and 28 million will go to a scientific programme and specific measures.
  • The parties will seek to establish scientific and technological cooperation projects in order to promote the conservation and rational exploitation of resources and balanced development of the industry. Port facilities will be improved and professional and technical formation in the fishing sector will be promoted.

Only the future will demonstrate the impact of these treaties on the fishing economies of countries both in Asia and in Latin America.