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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Spain regrets exclusion of European fleet from Mauritania

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA) regretted the decision adopted by the European Union (EU) and Mauritania that forces 30 units of the EU fleet, including tuna vessels, pole and line vessel, longliners and trawlers, to go out of the African fishing ground.

For the Spanish government, the current situation is a result of the poor negotiation performed by the EU for the agreement currently in effect.

At the end of the meetings held between 29 and 31 July, the EU and Mauritania agreed to exclude the fleets which had been operating in this fishery since 1 August, 2012 (24 months) from the current fisheries agreement.

This requirement was the condition imposed by Mauritania to prevent the exclusion of the entire community fleet.

"The alternative would have implied a serious crisis between the EU and Mauritania, implying the indefinite suspension of the negotiations for concluding a new fisheries protocol," explained MAGRAMA.

As a result, demersal and tuna fleets had to leave the fishery on 1 August while the shellfish fleet (15 vessels have current license) will be able to continue fishing until 15 December, 2014, under the same current conditions.

The shellfish fleet had returned to the Mauritanian fishing ground in November 2013 after Spain managed to relax the conditions imposed on this fleet.