EU vessels will be allowed to fish for shrimp, demersal fish, tuna and small pelagic fish in Mauritania’s Exclusive Economic Zone under a new four-year fisheries deal approved by Parliament on Tuesday. In return, the EU will pay Mauritania €59.125 million per year- €55 million for the total allowable catches and €4.125 million to support the development of Mauritania’s sector-specific fisheries policy.
This new fisheries Protocol, approved by 585 votes to 41, with 41 abstentions, follows the expiry of the 2012-2014 one. It was signed on 16 November 2015, and has applied provisionally since then. Most of the EU vessels fishing in Mauritanian waters are Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, German, Latvian, Lithuanian, Dutch, Polish, British or Irish.
The first fisheries agreement with Mauritania dates from 1989, and a series of agreements have been signed since then enabling European vessels to fish in Mauritanian waters. The current Partnership Agreement came into force in 2006 and was renewed for two years in 2012, expiring at the end of 2014. After lengthy negotiations, the European Union and Mauritania initialled a new protocol on 10 July 2015.
Parliament voted a resolution on 12 April on the external dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) saying that the EU fisheries agreement with Mauritania should serve as a role model of transparency and enforcement. MEPs suggested that the transparency provisions of the most recent protocol with Mauritania, which undertakes to publish all agreements with states or private entities granting foreign vessels access to its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) should be included in all Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements (SFPAs).