The European Commission has struck a key fishing agreement with Morocco, allowing European Union fishermen to resume supplying the EU fish market with Moroccan fish, six years after the expiry of an old access deal.

Since then, many smaller Spanish and Portuguese fishing vessels have been idle, but Maltese EU fishing Commissioner Joe Borg has secured a new smaller scale agreement.

Assuming it is agreed by EU ministers and MEPs, it would last four years from 1 March 2006, allowing 120 (mainly smaller coastal) vessels to take 60,000 tonnes of small pelagic species annually, such as sardines and anchovies.