Isabella Lvin, the European Parliament rapporteur for the EUKiribati FPA, proposes that parliament should vote against the agreement protocol. She developed her argument in a reply to the Kiribatis government letter, asking why Kiribati has agreed to a protocol that is not based on the regionally agreed Vessel Day Scheme (VDS), when according to the official agreed records of the FPA Joint Committee, Kiribati had actually made it clear at the start of the negotiations that they intended to base the new protocol on the VDS. Moreover, Kiribati implemented the VDS in all bilateral agreements renewed in 2011 including Japan, Taiwan, China and New Zealand.
Ms Lvin underlines that EU purse seiners operating in Kiribati are among the largest of their kind, and rely heavily on the use of fish aggregating devices, a factor that may affect their fishing effort. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that their effort be properly accounted for.
She also recalled the EP resolution on the EU external fisheries policy when the European Parliament expressed its wish that bilateral fisheries agreements should ensure that EU shipowners pay a fair and market-based portion of the costs when acquiring access rights.
Greenpeace made a supporting formal statement in which the NGO highlighted that, if the agreement was not rejected, the EU will walk away with a bargain price for the opportunity to fish. The EP Fisheries Committee is due to give its opinion on the deal in October.