EP delegation expresses appreciation of the EU-Mauritania Fisheries Partnership
A Fisheries Committee delegation visited Nouakchott and Nouadhibou ahead of the renewal of the Protocol of the EU-Mauritania Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement.
The Protocol is due to expire in November 2019.
The four-members delegation headed by the Committee’s first Vice-Chair Linnéa ENGSTRÖM (Greens/EFA, SV) with Francisco José MILLÁN MON (EPP, ES), Richard CORBETT (S&D, UK) and Izaskun BILBAO BARANDICA (ALDE, ES) held a number of high-level meetings with government ministers, parliamentarians and representatives of the Mauritanian authorities who welcomed the EP delegation and presented the progress made in the implementation of the Fisheries Agreement - the most important bilateral fisheries agreement for the EU.
MEPs expressed their appreciation for the open and constructive dialogue held with their Mauritanian counterparts. Many significant improvements in the fisheries legislation of Mauritania have improved the application of the Protocol, including the implementation of the sectorial support, they said.
They raised some concerns regarding the transparency of the fishing activities in the country’s fishing zone, stressing the need to increase the transparency of data collection and information on all fleets operating in Mauritanian waters. They welcomed the country’s commitment to the FiTI initiative (Fisheries Transparency Initiative).
The delegation expressed also concerns about the significant amount of small pelagic species used for fish meals and oil, something which leads to significant losses for the Mauritanian economy and could potentially lead to an over-exploitation of the stocks. MEPs welcomed the Mauritanian authorities’ statement that they are tackling the issue.
MEPs raised the issue of climate change, and were told that there is already some impact on the fish stocks observed.
The members of the delegation met representatives and, in particular several women working in the value chain of the fisheries industry. These representatives expressed their gratitude for the support they have received for their projects.
MEPs reiterated the strategic significance of the continuation of the fisheries partnership agreement for both parties. "For Mauritania and the EU it is of paramount importance to continue with this open and constructive dialogue in order to successfully address the improvement of the future Fisheries Agreement and, at the same time, address the global challenges posed by illegal fishing”, they said.
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Kristina-Antigoni ELEFTERIEPress Officer