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Oceans and fisheries

EU and Mauritania have signed a new sustainable fisheries partnership agreement (SFPA) on 15 November 2021, for a duration of six years, tacitly renewable.

The new protocol to the SFPA was signed the same day and entered into provisional application on 16 November 2021 for a duration of 5 years, i.e. until 15 November 2026. This protocol confirms several decades of cooperation in the field of fisheries, a key sector for the development of Mauritania and one of the pillars of the European strategy for sustainable blue growth.

Under the protocol, the EU fleet is allowed to fish in Mauritanian waters for shrimp, demersal fish, tuna and small pelagic fish, up to a total of 287,050 tonnes a year, under improved operational conditions. In addition to the fees paid by the European fleet (tonnage fees and para-fiscal taxes), the EU pays a financial contribution of €57.5 million per year for the access to waters. EU also pays €16,5 million for the whole period of application of the protocol to support local fishing communities in Mauritania and to improve fisheries governance. If appropriate, these figures might be reviewed before the end of the second year of application. This revision will be carried out on the basis of the status of the targeted stocks and of the actual utilisation of the fishing opportunities by the EU fleet.

In line with the EU's fisheries policy, the protocol contributes to responsible fishing and the sustainable management of fisheries resources, including enhanced transparency measures. It seeks to minimise fishing impacts on marine ecosystems and respects the activities of the Mauritanian coastal and artisanal fleets.

Main features of the SFPA

Duration of the agreement

6 years renewable (16.11.2021 – 15.11.2027)  

Nature of the SFPA

Multi-species agreement

Duration of the protocol

5 years (16.11.2021-15.11.2026)

Financial contribution

€57,5 million/year for access, and  € 16,5 million for the whole period of application of the protocol to support the fisheries sector.

Fishing opportunities and fees for ship-owners

Category 1 — Fishing vessels specialising in crustaceans other than spiny lobster and crab (maximum 5 000 tonnes / year; maximum 25 vessels).
Fee: €450/t, annual advance fee of €1 500/vessel deducted from total fee due.

Category 2 — Black hake non-freezer trawlers (maximum 6 000 tonnes/year; and maximum 6 vessels).
Fee: €100/t, annual advance fee of €1 000/vessel deducted from total fee due.
Category 2 bis — Black hake freezer trawlers (main target species: black hake, maximum 3 500 tonnes/year; secondary species: squid maximum 1 450 t/year and cuttlefish, maximum 600 t/year, 25% by-catch allowed for demersal fish other than black hake).
Fees: black hake: €100/t, squid: €575/t, cuttlefish: €250/t and €90/t for by-catches; annual advance fee of €1 000/vessel deducted from total fee due.

Category 3 — Vessels fishing for demersal species other than black hake with gear other than trawls (maximum 3 000 t; maximum 6 vessels).
Fee: €105/t, annual advance fee of €1 000/vessel deducted from total fee due.

Category 4 — Tuna seiners (reference tonnage 14000 tonnes; maximum 29 vessels).
Fee: €75/t in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year; €80/t in the 4th and 5th year; Annual flat-rate advance fee of € 3 500/vessel.

Category 5 — Pole-and-line tuna vessels and surface long-liners (reference tonnage 7 000 tonnes; maximum 15 vessels).
Fee: €75/t in the 1st , 2nd and 3rd year; €80/t in the 4th and 5th year; Annual flat-rate advance fee of €2 500/pole-and-line vessel and of €3 500/surface long-liner.

Category 6 — Pelagic freezer trawlers (maximum 225 000 tonnes; maximum 19 vessels).
Fees: € 75/t for sardines and sardinellas; 140 €/t for mackerels and horse-mackerels, € 123/t other small pelagics annual advance fee of €5 000/ vessel deducted from total fee due.

Category 7 — Non-freezer pelagic vessels (maximum 15 000 tonnes/year, deducted from category 6; maximum 2 vessels).
Fees: same as cat. 6, annual advance fee of €5 000/ vessel deducted from total fee due.

Category 8 – Cephalopods: no fishing opportunities granted under the current protocol.

Fishing opportunites

Mauritania fishing opportunities
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History

The first fisheries agreement concluded between the EU and Mauritania dates back from 1987. The previous Fisheries Partnership Agreement was concluded in 2006 and entered into force on 1.08.2006. It was adopted by Council Regulation (EC) No 1801/2006 of 30.11.2006 (OJ L343 of 8.12.2006) for a duration of 6 years renewable (30.11.2006 - 29.11.2012; 30.11.2012 - 29.11.2018; 30.11.2018 – 15.11.2021).

Scientific advice

In accordance with the agreement and protocol, the two parties encourage scientific cooperation and consult a Joint Scientific Committee (JSC) to strengthen monitoring of the marine biological resources and to examine scientific questions relating to the implementation of the protocol.

Report of the 2021 meeting of the Joint Scientific Committee to the EU-Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Agreement

Report of the 2019 meeting of the Joint Scientific Committee to the EU-Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Agreement

Documents

Current legal framework

Agreement  adopted by Council Decision (EU) 2021/2123 of 11 November 2021.

Allocation of fishing opportunities adopted by Council Regulation (EU) 2021/2061 of 11 November 2021.