MAURITANIAN PELAGIC FISHERIES
The various stocks targeted by the FIP are currently fully exploited, almost overexploited; the stock status for round sardinella and ethmalose remain worrying to ensure a sustainable management of all targeted species.
Although the management plan for these species has been technically approved since 2013, it requires a complete update: the fishery has undergone major changes in recent years and the legislation is not yet adapted.
The overexploitation and the reduction of the biomass of the targeted species, main source of predators (demersal and pelagic fish, seabirds and marine mammals in particular), have a considerable impact on the integrity of the ecosystem.
ACTION PLAN OF THE FIP
The FIP action plan includes a large number of measures to respond to the improvement points identified in the pre-evaluation.
Serious management strategy is based on the availability of reliable data and statistics. Thus, the priority of the FIP Small Pelagics in Mauritania, since its inception, mainly consists in supporting the IMROP (Institut Mauritanien de Recherches Océanographiques et des Pêches) data collection system. The FIP also provides financial support to support the existing means of the IMROP and to monitor the small pelagic fishery as well as all the species targeted by the FIP.
Improve the data collection on catches and biomass for the coastal/small pelagic fleet
Assist the government in the implementation of a small pelagic management plan
Ensure that the fishery follows an eco-systemic approach
Support the government and scientists in the cooperation with neighboring countries (Morocco and Senegal) for the management of shared stocks
Support monitoring and control on board and in factories
Evaluate by-catch, discards and interactions with vulnerable habitats
Improve direct and indirect stock assessments
Focus the fishery on human consumption market and orient the fish meal towards waste valorization
Establish a management system for the FIP to implement the above actions
One of the difficulties in the management of small pelagics in Mauritania lies in the fact that the majority of the targeted stocks are shared with neighboring countries. Therefore, beyond a national strategy, it is necessary to strengthen bilateral collaborations for a concerted management, in particular with Senegal for sardinella and Morocco for sardines.
Finally, the FIP includes an important social component. The project enables a complete list of the vessels that are part of the FIP and to encourage them to sign the Fishery Progress social charter. Then, from 2022 onwards, the fishery will be subject to a social audit, carried out by an independent organization to ensure that there is no abuse of sailors’ rights.
With this in mind, the FIP action plan has been updated to take into account the most recent pre-assessment carried out according to the MSC standard. This work plan is based on an assessment of the fishery against the MarinTrust standard, an eco-label for fishmeal and fish oil fisheries (FMFO), and an MSC pre-assessment.