New protocol to the EU-Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Agreement initialled in Nouakchott (Mauritania)
The European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, initialled on 26 July a 2-year Fisheries Partnership Protocol (FPA) between the EU and Mauritania.
The total cost for the EU budget on an annual basis amounts to 70 million euros, and offers fishing opportunities for demersal, including shrimps, tuna and pelagic fisheries. Furthermore, there will be a very substantial increase of shipowners' fees, in line with the principles of the CFP Reform. This new protocol ensures sustainability and the catching of the available surplus in all these fisheries, and is fully based on best scientific advice. This new protocol provides for its termination in case of under-utilization of fishing opportunities. A human rights clause has been included, as well as the de-coupling of the sectoral support from access fees. Furthermore , this new protocol provides for increased job opportunities for Mauritanian seamen. Lastly, there will be a special contribution in kind by the EU fishing fleet to meet nutritional needs of the local population. Commissioner Maria Damanaki said: "After a very long negotiation process, we have a deal. This deal is sustainable, ethical and good value for money. We have secured a legal framework which will allow EU fishing activities to continue in Mauritanian waters." The Protocol has been initialled on 26 July 2012, before the expiry of the current Protocol on the 31st of July 2012. As from 1 August and for a duration of 6 months, pending the provisional application of the new Protocol by the Council (envisaged before end of 2012) and the consent of the European Parliament, the Commission will transmit to Mauritania any fishing applications that it will receive from Member states. Mauritania will grant transitional licences based on these requests. This procedure prevents any interruption of fishing activities as from 1 August 2012.