The " EU-Morocco fisheries agreement is valid in so far as it is inapplicable in Western Sahara and its territorial waters," concluded the Court of Justice of the European Union in a decision made public Tuesday.
According to the CJEU, the inclusion of Western Sahara territory in the scope of the fisheries agreement would breach several rules of general international law applicable on the relations between the EU and the Kingdom of Morocco, notably the principle of self-determination.
The Court ruled that, in view of the fact that Western Sahara territory is not part of the territory of the Kingdom of Morocco, the waters adjacent to Western Sahara territory do not fall within the Moroccan fishing zone covered by the fishing agreement.
It has stated that the "Moroccan fishing zone" under the protocol does not include the waters adjacent to the Sahrawi territory.
The CJEU has issued this ruling following its referral by the British High Court of Justice. A British NGO, Western Sahara Campaign (WSC), defending Western Sahara’s right to self-determination had filed a complaint, arguing that the fisheries agreement concluded by the Union and Morocco and the texts of the acts approving and implementing it are invalid insofar as such agreement and acts apply to the territory and waters of Western Sahara.