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Tuesday, 03 May 2016

EU-Mauritania fisheries agreement: New protocol

Of all the fisheries partnership agreements currently in force, the EU-Mauritania agreement is by far the most significant in economic terms. A new protocol, setting the details for implementation of the agreement over the coming four years, was signed and entered into provisional application in November 2015. Parliament's consent is now required for the conclusion of this protocol. The first fisheries agreement with Mauritania was concluded in 1987, as a continuation of the pre-accession arrangements of Spain and Portugal with Mauritania. It was reshaped into a cooperation agreement in 1996. In 2006, it became a fisheries partnership agreement (FPA), renewable for six-year periods, with the current period covering 2012-2018. Unlike most current FPAs, which focus on tuna, the EU-Mauritania FPA is one of the few mixed agreements providing access to a wide range of stocks. For EU vessels to be allowed to fish within the framework of the FPA, a protocol is required in order to define the fishing opportunities for EU vessels in Mauritanian waters and the financial contribution to be paid by the EU. Following the expiry of the previous, rather controversial, protocol in December 2014, a new protocol was signed and entered into provisional application on 16 November 2015.