Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said:
“This is the EU's biggest sustainable fisheries partnership agreement in financial terms. It is a significant improvement compared to the previous protocol and can be considered an example to be followed for the negotiation of future agreements with other countries. The new Protocol is fully consistent with the external dimension of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy: it respects the principle of sustainability and confirms the principles of transparency, preferential access for the EU fleet and non-discrimination between foreign fleets. It ensures good returns on EU taxpayers' money and gives the EU fleet stability and predictability with improved technical conditions. The focus now is on ensuring the smooth implementation of the new Protocol.”
The new Protocol is crucial for both the EU fleet and Mauritania. Under the new four-year-deal, 98 EU vessels from 11 Member States will be allowed to fish for shrimp, demersal fish, tuna and small pelagic fish in Mauritania's Exclusive Economic Zone. In return, the EU will pay Mauritania a financial contribution of €59,125 million per year - 4,125 million of which will go to support the country’s fisheries sector, making it the biggest of all Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements in financial terms.
Perfectly aligned with the new Common Fisheries Policy of the EU - and thus strongly orientated towards sustainability and good ocean governance - the new deal offers better value for money and technical conditions than its predecessors. According to MEP Gabriel MATO, the file rapporteur, the new Protocol with Mauritania sets a new standard for future negotiations with third countries.