In line with a new two-year fisheries partnership protocol, which was signed between the EC and Mauritania at the end of July, the fishing boats can operate at 20 miles offshore, instead of 13 miles as before. Moreover, the protocol sets forth an obligation for ships to employ 60 percent of Mauritanian sailors, and a commitment to deliver 2 percent of catches to local authorities.
“Changes in that [fishing] zone are the worst. Fish stocks are mainly found before that boundary hence the fishers are pushed into the waters that have almost no fish,” Aivaras Labanauskas, deputy director of Fishery Department at the Agriculture Ministry, told BNS.
The ministry’s official told BNS that the agreement should be endorsed by the EU Council in October or November hence the countries sought to put more effort in expressing their opinions. The letter was co-signed by Spain, Portugal, Poland, and Latvia.
Mauritania’s waters account for more than two-thirds of total catch of Lithuanian fishers – approximately 60,000 tons of pelagic fish per year.