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EU-Mauritania Fisheries Protocol: cephalopods stocks investigation

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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

EU-Mauritania Fisheries Protocol: cephalopods stocks investigation

A scientific committee will be established as part of the EU-Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Protocol, to research upon and update the status of all fish stocks- including cephalopods.
This aims to address the current situation in which the agreement excludes the European cephalopod fleet (octopus and squid), due to a supposed too limited current stock. This exclusion affects especially the fleets of Andalusia, the Canary Islands and Galicia.
From 26 July 2012, when the European Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki, closed negotiations with the Mauritanian government, the pact forced 24 Galician cephalopod vessels, most of O Morrazo, to leave their fishing activity in the African ground.
Thus, the scientific committee will collect scientific data to show that current stocks of octopus allow it to be captured without danger by the European fleet.
The estimation of the current stock of cephalopods might be erroneous, as latest assessments were implemented with old data, and given that octopus stocks change very quickly.
The decision was taken at the last EU-Mauritania Joint Committee, which took place on 19-20 February in Paris. Both parties agreed to convene rapidly.
Also, on the occasion technical conditions of the protocol have been improved with the aim of making it more economically viable, including the increase of by-catch for the shrimps category and the extension of the southern pelagic zone.

Source: European Commission, Fish Info & Services (FIS)