The EU has extended the protocol to the existing Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) with the Islamic Republic of Mauritania for one year.
The protocol promotes responsible fishing and sustainable management of fishing resources, including enhanced transparency measures, according to the European Commission, which states that the extension ensures continuity in co-operation and further progress towards sustainable fishing.
The fisheries partnership agreement with Mauritania is the largest mixed agreement for the EU both in financial terms and in terms of fishing opportunities. Under the current framework with Mauritania, the EU fleet is authorised to fish in Mauritanian waters for shrimp, demersal fish, tuna and small pelagics, up to around 287,000 tonnes per year.
In addition to the fees paid by the European fleet, the EU pays a financial contribution of €61,625,000 per year, including over €4,000,000 to support the fisheries policy in Mauritania, in particular the improvement of research and fisheries governance.
Despite intentions to agree a new protocol, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the initial planning for the negotiations. The parties considered a one-year extension of the current protocols to be the most pragmatic approach to avoid interruption in the activity of Union fishing vessels in Mauritanian waters.
The extensions will be on the same terms as the current ones, with identical fishing opportunities for EU vessels as well as unchanged financial contributions from both the European Union and vessel owners. Meanwhile, negotiations for a new agreement and protocol will continue with a view to the adoption of a new sustainable fisheries partnership agreement, before the expiration of the agreed extension.