The purpose of this study is to provide background information on and analysis of the consequences of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) on sustainable development in West Africa, and to make recommendations on ways of achieving coherence between its fisheries policies, and other policies, including development policies, trade policies and human rights and good governance policies. The countries treated in this study are the 15 countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and neighbouring coastal States with which the EU has currently concluded fisheries agreements (Gabon, Mauritania, Morocco and São Tome and Principe).
EU fisheries related policies as they relate to West Africa are principally concerned with fisheries access agreements, although trade, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and structural/fleet policy are also relevant. Fisheries access agreements are agreements between a coastal State and another State for the purpose of providing the fishing vessels of the latter with fishing opportunities in the waters of the former. Over the past three decades, the EU has negotiated fisheries access agreements with more than 30 countries, including several in the broader West African region.