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Mauritania: Mauritania Fisheries Profile 2012




 Mauritania Fisheries Profile  


Mauritanian physical environment:

• 724 km of shoreline
• 234 000 km² of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
• Permanent upwelling
• Wide continental shelf and very large area of shallow waters (Banc d'Arguin)
• The largest fishing area in Africa
• Completely free of polluion zone.

Mauritanian halieutic resources:

• Large species diversity
• Great commercial value (70 species exported)
• Demersal resources almost fully exploited
• Major potential in pelagic resources
• Unexploited clam stock of 300 000 tons
• Catches in the range of 650 000 tons/year
• Industrial fishing: 90%
• Artisanal (small scale) and coastal fishing: 10%.

Halieutic resources impact on Mauritanian economic revenue:

• 40% of national revenue in foreign currency (second sector after mining);
• 20 to 25% of State budgetary revenue
• About 10% of Gross National Product (GNP)
• 30 000 jobs of which 36% are modern sector jobs
• National consumption of 4,3 kg/per capita/year
• Catch export > 95%
• Fish processed products ~10% of exported products


The ichthyofauna of Mauritania's ZEE is quite diversified. On a few thousand, more than 300 species are counted, nearly 170 species are marketable and more than twenty of stocks that constitute the target of evolving fisheries.

These resources can be classified into two major groups, demersal resources and pelagic resources. Demersal resources, mainly composed of cephalopod (cuttlefish, squid and octopus in particular), demersal fish (sea bream, hake, grouper, sole, rays and sharks, mullet, sciaenid, serenades, merlucidés,), of Sardine crustaceans (shrimp, lobsters, crabs deep), bivalve mollusks (clams) and others.
The pelagic resources, consisting of two sub groups: coastal pelagic (sardinelles, sardine, horse mackerel, mackerel, anchovies, mullet, small tuna and tasty fish) and high pelagic so-called major tuna (yellow fin, skipjack, bigeye).

The main exploited resources have been subject to regular and thorough evaluations since the early 1980s, reaching potential for allowable catches of major stocks (octopus, shrimp, small pelagic, major tuna and clams) estimated of more than 1, 5 million metric tons per year. The demersals offer a potential of 200.000 tones, including 50 000 tones of cephalopods.
The potential of bivalves (clams) is estimated of 300 000 tons. These resources of the deep are considered of high commercial value and high added-value. The pelagic resources, they offer the potential for allowable catches over 1.000.0000 metric tons per year.
They are characterized as low commercial value and low added-value therefore high integration potential into the national economy. This potential is not actually valued. Other potential of plants and Seaweed exist but they remain untapped due to lack of information and the know-how.

How to invest?

Access to the fishery resource has experienced continuous development throughout the last thirty years. Its main purpose was to provide the authority department with a regulatory basis laying down transparent and equitable rules and procedures for the access to exploitation of resources in terms of permissible potential.
The circular of 29 June 2006 embodies the latest changes establishing three access regimes: *The regulation of acquisition (national fleet) *The regulation of chartering *The regime of free license

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