Thursday 31 May 2001

Senegal recently extended a fishing rights deal with the European Union (eu) by three months to allow more time for talks on a new arrangement, which environmentalists fear may endanger fish stocks. The eu wants a 60 per cent increase in fishing access rights in the already over-exploited Senegalese waters. But organisations like the World Wide Fund for Nature say that such agreements are "irresponsible negotiations" and the European Commission is using taxpayer's money to export unsustainable fishing practises to threatened coastal areas. "A further round of talks -- the fifth attempt to strike a deal -- is scheduled for May 28, 2001," said Emilio Matracchio, head of an eu delegation in Senegal. The eu had in 1997 paid Senegal us $44 million under a four-year fishing rights deal, which was scheduled to expire on April 30, 2001.

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