EU | Sustainable fisheries: Cooperation with Mauritania continues

This article was published first in DG MARE’s website on the 09/07/2020. 

The EU is actively promoting sustainable fisheries around the world. In this context, the EU has on 7 July extended the protocol to the existing Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) with the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for one year.

The protocol promotes responsible fishing and sustainable management of fishing resources, including enhanced transparency measures. The extension ensures continuity in cooperation and further progress towards sustainable fishing.

The fisheries partnership agreement with Mauritania is the biggest mixed agreement for the EU both in financial terms and in terms of fishing opportunities. Under the current framework with Mauritania, the EU fleet is authorised to fish in Mauritanian waters for shrimp, demersal fish, tuna and small pelagics, up to around 287,000 tonnes per year. In addition to the fees paid by the European fleet, the EU pays a financial contribution of €61,625,000 per year, including over €4,000,000 to support the fisheries policy in Mauritania, in particular the improvement of research and fisheries governance.

Despite intentions to agree a new protocol, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the initial planning for the negotiations. The parties considered a one-year extension of the current protocols to be the most pragmatic approach to avoid interruption in the activity of Union fishing vessels in Mauritanian waters. The extensions will be on the same terms as the current ones, with identical fishing opportunities for EU vessels as well as identical financial contributions from both the European Union and the ship-owners. Meanwhile, negotiations for a new agreement and protocol will continue with a view to the adoption of a new sustainable fisheries partnership agreement, before the expiration of the agreed extension.


More information

The Mauritania section of the WestMED website presents the latest news of the Blue Economy in Mauritania.


WestMED National Event in Mauritania helps concretise the Blue Economy concept

On 30 June 2020, more than 20 stakeholders from Mauritania gathered online to discuss the Blue Economy concept.

This national event was  organised by the WestMED Assistance Mechanism in cooperation with the National Coordinator in Mauritania of the WestMED Initiative at the Mauritanian  Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy.

It was a first of its kind meeting on the Blue Economy in Mauritania where many different organisations and institutions were represented from the private sector, the public sector and the academic world.

Next to an exchange of views, 10 ideas were identified that can be focused on to take the Blue Economy concept in Mauritania to a next stage:

  1. Promote the blue economy profile in Mauritania
  2. Skills and competences of actors for sustainable development (fisheries)
  3. Innovation to improve sustainability (e.g., waste/plastic management beyond collection, sewage treatment plants and sustainable fishing vessels);
  4. Plastic reuse experience in Senegal as pilot to capitalise in Mauritania (?);
  5. Capitalise on the (eco) tourism experience related to marine protected areas (example Nouadhibou) for coastal development with support for local capacities/skills;
  6. Desalination projects to improve access to water – be aware of MPA.
  7. Access to renewable energy (marine) for local communities
  8. MSP as an essential tool for good shared use of the sea and coastlines
  9. MSP as an essential tool to allow for a proper shared usage of the sea and littorals (pressure on coastal areas could be addressed through “green solutions”)
  10. Strategic study to identify priority activities to support a sustainable blue economy.

The National Hub Mauritania, together with the National Coordinator will study these initial ideas in more detail  and decide on a path forward.

Resources of the event: Agenda, Opening presentation(in French)

The Minister of fisheries agreed to organize a national event in the beginning of 2020

During a hearing granted to the National Hub Manager, the Minister of Fisheries agreed to organize a national workshop under his patronage and to invite all ministers concerned (environment, petrol and mines, equipment and transport, etc.). In consultation with the national coordinator, it was considered necessary to organize the workshop in February 2020 after the completion of the fisheries strategy development process.

Strong involvement of the national hub in the process of developing the fisheries sector strategy of Mauritania (2020-2024)

The national hub of Mauritania has been strongly involved in the process of developing the fisheries sector strategy. Indeed, the head of the national hub was approached by the Minister of Fisheries to participate in steering the process of developing the sector strategy for the period 2020-2024.

In this context, the head of the national hub has actively participated in the preparation of the communication of the Minister of Fisheries in the Council of Ministers on the start of the process of elaboration of the 2020-2024 fisheries strategy, the framework note of the process and the terms of reference of the pool of national experts responsible for developing the strategy.

This function reflects the Minister’s confidence in the skills of the national hub and will strengthen its strategic position at the level of the Ministry of Fisheries, which will have a very positive impact on the promotion of the WestMED initiative and its institutional anchoring in Mauritania. .

Development of synergies with FAO initiative and others initiatives

The national hub took part in all the events organized at national level related to the promotion of the blue economy. He was involved in the evaluation of the 2015-2019 fisheries strategy and the development of a program for inland fisheries and fish farming in Mauritania (in collaboration with FAO). It is also involved in the ongoing evaluation of the management and development plan of the Banc d’Arguin National Park and the elaboration of a new plan for the period 2020-2024.

A continuous effort to promote the WestMED Initiative at the national level

The head of the national hub has established a regular contact with the Minister of Fisheries, to make him aware of the WestMED initiative and its objectives and to obtain his agreement for the organization of the national event on the blue economy at the beginning of the year 2020. In this context, the Minister confirmed to the head of the national hub his availability to provide all the necessary support for the success of the activities of the national hub.

In other part, a mission is scheduled to Nouadhibou from 08 to 14 December, in which the head of the National Hub is involved. This mission will be an opportunity to inform the various institutions of the WestMED initiative (Nouadhibou Free Zone, fishing professionals, Nouadhibou Autonomous Port, artisanal port, Nouadhibou shipyard, etc.).