Negotiations begin for renewal of EU-Mauritania agreement
Thursday, February 20, 2020, 08:00 (GMT + 9)
The fourth round of negotiations to renew the fisheries agreement that the EU has with the Republic of Mauritania, has started in Nouakchott. This is the most important agreement for the Spanish fleet, allowing work to total of 50 vessels.
Involved businessmen will travel to the Mauritanian capital to closely follow the talks and push for all of their demands to be accepted. This agreement allows the EU fleet to capture in Mauritania waters a total of 287 050 tons per year of shrimp, demersal species, tuna and small pelagic fish.
The agreement benefits Galician, Canary, Andalusian and Basque ships. Among them, 11 shellfish vessels, 11 freezer tuna seiners, 7 pole and line tuna vessels, 11 black hake vessels, 4 surface longliners and 6 bottom longliners.
Two spanish octopus trawlers (Photo: Stockfile) ►
Under the current agreement, the European block pays Mauritania a financial contribution of EUR 61.6 million per year, of which EUR 57.5 million is disbursed as payment for access to its waters and EUR 4.1 million to support the development of local fishing communities.
According to the shipowners, "our requests have never been answered and, if they are tabled, it is to ensure that there is full use of fishing opportunities." They also stress that many requests do not even require financial compensation.
►Spanish trawlers moored in the port of Marin (Photo: Stockfile)
This is the case of the demand for an extraordinary channel to leave the Mauritanian fishing ground in cases of force majeure. But that exit must be express, "with agile procedures" and without having to face the long ordinary process to leave the country. The need for this measure was evident throughout the past year, with cuts at the border that left the fish blocked for days, a situation that “left adrift several shipowner companies operating in Mauritania, which are currently selling their ships».
They also claim a lowering of the fee for fresh fishing vessels, which according to those affected, have suffered more than others the drop in prices and the reduction in consumption. In addition, as a result of the blockages, the ships failed to meet the deadlines and, consequently, have lost market niche and large volume buyers. The fee cut they ask for is 15% for hake catches and 22% for those of the palometa.
In this agreement, this express exit must be consolidated.
The EU-Mauritania agreement also involves vessels from other countries such as Parlevliet & Van der Plas (Netherlands) ►
Another measure proposed is the modification of the calculation of by-catches for the fresh fish fleet. It would not have an economic cost and, on the other hand, would allow the operation of the vessels to be more efficient and the use of fishing opportunities to be greater. Thus, instead of counting the by-catch by fishing trip, it would be done by quarter, matching the term with the time for which the license is issued.
Source: Europa Azul