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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

EU and Mauritania suspend fisheries negotiations

In a fourth round of talks on renewing the Protocol to the EU-Mauritania Fishing Partnership Agreement, the parties were unable to reach an agreement on a number of points, including finances. They, therefore, decided to suspend the discussions, held in Brussels on 9-10 October, to enable both parties to make the necessary internal consultations. Based on the available surplus identified by the Joint Scientific Committee, and to ensure the sustainable exploitation of stocks, the EU is seeking to reduce the level of fishing opportunities for small pelagics, as well as the corresponding financial contributions that go along with them. This reduction is further justified by the level of small pelagic catches in the current Protocol. The EU has expressed its willingness to continue the dialogue with Mauritania in order to reach a mutually satisfactory compromise and forge a long-lasting partnership. To this end, and given the new strategic direction of Mauritania, the EU is ready to substantially increase its financial support to the Mauritanian fisheries sector.

At the end of July, Mauritania and the EU reached an agreement in Nouakchott, under which the African country accepted EU fishing activities for a period of 24 months as part of the bilateral Fisheries Protocol, hence the shrimp and small pelagic fisheries, which started in January 2013, could continue, whereas those EU vessels which had been fishing tuna and demersals since August 2012 during a transitional period would need to leave Mauritanian waters.

Source: fis.com