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Oceans and fisheries

The current four-year protocol to the sustainable fisheries partnership agreement (SFPA) entered into force on 16 November 2015. It was signed for a duration of 4 years but it has been extended twice, each time for a duration of one additional year, until 15 November 2021. 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  €61.625 million per year for this partnership, comprising €57.5 million for the access to waters and  €4.125 million for supporting local fishing communities in Mauritania and improving fisheries governance.

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 (30.11.2006 - 29.11.2012; 30.11.2012 - 29.11.2018)

Nature of the SFPA

Multi-species agreement

Duration of the protocol

4 years (from 16.11.2015 to 15.11.2019), extended twice for one year (from 16.11.2019 to 15.11.2020) and from 16.11.2020 to 15.11.2021.

Financial contribution

€61.625 million/year, of which €4.125 million/year 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: €400/t, annual advance fee of €1,000/vessel deducted from total fee due.

Category 2 — Black hake non-freezer trawlers (maximum 6,000 tonnes/year; and maximum 6 vessels).
Fee: €90/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: €70/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/, annual advance fee of €1,000/vessel deducted from total fee due.

Category 4 — Tuna seiners (reference tonnage 12,500 tonnes; maximum 25 vessels).Fee: €60/t in the 1st and 2nd years; €65/t in the 3rd year; €70/t in the 4th year/. Annual flat-rate advance fee of €1,750/vessel.

Category 5 — Pole-and-line tuna vessels and surface long-liners (reference tonnage 7,500 tonnes; maximum 15 vessels).
Fee: €60/t in the 1st and 2nd years; €65/t in the 3rd year; €70/t in the 4th 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).
Fee: €123/t, 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).
Fee: €123/t, 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 current 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).

The previous Protocol (2012-2014) to the FPA expired on 15.12.2014:

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 Regulation (EC) No 1801/2006 of 30.11.2006 (OJ L343 of 8.12.2006).

Decision on the signature and provisional application of the Protocol adopted by Council Decision (EU) 2015/2191 of 10.11.2015 (OJ L315 of 1.12.2014). The text of the Protocol was published in the same OJ.

Decision on the conclusion of the protocol adopted by Council Decision (EU) 2016/870 of 24.5.2016 (OJ L145 of 2.6.2016).

Allocation of fishing opportunities adopted by Council Regulation (EU) 2015/2192 of 10.11.2015 (OJ L315 of 1.12.2015).

Fishing opportunities and the financial compensation of the protocol adopted by Commission Decision (EU)2017/451 of 14.3.2017 (OJ L69 of 15.3.2017).

First extension of the protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution adopted by Council Decision (EU) 2019/1918 of 8.11.2019 (OJ L 297I of 18.11.2019).

Allocation of the fishing opportunities and financial contribution, adopted by Council Regulation (EU) 2019/1919 of 8.11.2019 (OJ L 297I of 18.11.2019).

Second extension of the protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and financial contribution adopted by Council Decision (EU) 2020/1704 of 23 October 2020 (OJ L 383 of 16.11.2020, p.1)