The European Commission has struck a fishing agreement in the Pacific Ocean for the first time, opening up waters that have so far been closed to European Union trawlers. It has initialled a deal with the island republic of Kiribati which will provide annual access for 18 EU fishing vessels from Spain, France and Portugal, with Brussels granting aid of €1.378m (US$1.385m) in return. Some of this money will be earmarked for strengthening Kiribati's participation in regional and international fisheries organisations and to support the country's administration of its fishing grounds.