Joint statement of the Mauritanian actors and Greenpeace

Press release - September 8, 2013
We, actors of the Mauritanian fisheries sector, representative of the professional organizations and civil society, have jointly organized with Greenpeace Africa this Sunday, September 8th 2013 in Nouakchott, a workshop on the status of fisheries in Mauritania; in order to express our commitment in favour of good governance of the sector and a sustainable management of fishing resources.

- Considering the critical situation in which the fisheries and marine reserves currently are;

- Considering the limits of the agreement with the European Union regarding the
management of certain fish stocks , including small pelagics, highly sensitive and heavily
fished reserves, source of employment and food for local communities, and, in addition,
shared stocks with other countries in the region;

- Considering the negative impact of the activities of “monster” (oversized fishing capacity,
illegal or questionable practices, etc.) pelagic vessels on marine ecosystems, on the
livelihoods of local fishermen and on food security in the whole region;

- Considering that the current overexploitation of stocks of certain species is the result of
enormous pressure put on them , especially by oversized foreign trawlers;

- Considering the vital role that must be played by Mauritania, on a regional and international
level, to promote good practices in the management of fisheries and marine conservation
for the well- being of present and future generations and to contribute to the food security
on a national, regional and international level;

- Considering the key role of scientific research and advice in the formulation of policies and
plans for management of fishing reserves;

- Acknowledging the reforms undertaken by the Government of Mauritania to fight against
overfishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), which are two current
major scourges;

- Acknowledging the efforts made by the Mauritanian government , in the framework of the
provisional execution of new fisheries agreement with the EU, to promote sustainable
management of resources and defend the interests of Mauritanian fishermen;

- Acknowledging the commitment made by authorities to promote transparency and
equitable sharing economic returns from the fishing industry between the different layers of
Mauritanian society;

- Acknowledging the clause from the EU/Mauritania Protocol requiring foreign pelagic
trawlers to land 2% of their catch in Mauritania in favor of the most unprivileged layers;

- Acknowledging the new vision of the Mauritanian government to develop the local industry
sector with the creation of a free zone in Nouadhibou and its impacts on the development of
the fisheries sector.


Let us reaffirm our support to all courageous reforms to be taken by the Mauritanian government for sustainable and equitable fishing. We call upon it to:

  • Maintain and consolidate the achievements made under the new fisheries agreement with the European Union;
  • Follow the same logic of sustainability and equity with all other partners in Mauritanian waters;
  • Reconsider the presence of certain monster boats in Mauritanian waters, such as that of Annelies Ilena (formerly Atlantic Dawn) of which the negative impact on the marine environment and livelihoods of fishermen, both local and throughout the region, are considerable. These ships do not have their place in any ocean of the world ;
  • Consider the shared nature of certain reserves such as those of small pelagic reserves whose impending collapse is likely to affect millions of people in the region. And that urgent steps must be taken with countries, regional and international partner organizations and professional organizations to initiate concrete actions along the lines of a shared and sustainable management of these resources;
  • Consider the fisheries sector in the light of the new industrial and economic vision of Mauritania with the creation of a Free Trade Zone in Nouadhibou;
  • Take greater account of scientific advice in decision- making relative to the management of fishing resources;
  • Strengthen various measures implemented to fight against the plundering of fish stocks and IUU fishing;
  • Increase advocacy for healthy oceans for the benefit of local communities both on a regional and international level.

Nouakchott, September 8th, 2013


Signed by representatives of:

- La Fédération nationale de Pêche, section artisanale (FNP)

- Section sud de la FNP

- Le Comité des marins et capitaines pêcheurs, membre de la FNP

- Fédération mauritanienne des mareyeurs (FMM)

- Fédération Libre de la Pêche artisanale

- Comité des Capitaines de la pêche côtière, membre de la FNP

- L’Union des coopératives « Le Mool »


- NGO Mauritanie 2000

- Coopérative de pêche artisanale de Mauritanie (COPAM)

- Réseau des journalistes pour une pêche responsable et durable en Afrique de l’Ouest

- Coalition contre la corruption en Mauritanie (3CM)

- Confédération africaine des organisations de la pêche artisanale (CAOPA)

- Greenpeace


This Statement is translated from the original French, available below.

Declaration finale des acteurs de la societe civile mauritanienne et de...