Morocco inks cooperation agreement with Mauritania to bolster fisheries research

Morocco – The Kingdom of Morocco and Mauritius have signed a specific protocol on cooperation in fisheries research on the sidelines of the 6th edition of the International Fair Halieutis, held in Agadir from February 1st to 5th.

The signing ceremony was chaired by the Moroccan Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mohammed Sadiki, alongside Mauritania’s Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy Mohamed Abidine Mayif.

This agreement aims to improve cooperation between Morocco’s National Institute of Fisheries Research (INRH) and the Mauritanian Institute of Oceanographic Research and Fisheries (IMROP).

Director of the INRH Faraj Abdel Malek and Director of the IMROP Hafedh Ejiwen signed the protocol, which will implement commitments previously agreed on in a scientific research cooperation agreement from 2022.

The protocol allows the two nations to strengthen the processes of assessment and biological study of fish stocks, and deepen the knowledge on biodiversity, critical ecological habits and their connectivity.

It also provides for harmonizing the methods of collecting and processing information, strengthening the socio-economic studies on shared problems and exchanges on the aspects of aquaculture development.

Through this agreement, the INRH and the IMROP also strengthen collaborative studies on ecosystems of common interest, in connection with the climate and some anthropogenic disturbances.

The overall objective of the agreement between Morocco and Mauritania was to improve their existing relations through the creation and execution of programs and cooperative projects in the fields of marine training, scientific and technological research and aquaculture development.

Together, the two countries aimed to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and pollution as well as salvage their fishing sectors.

The collaboration comes at a time when the Moroccan fishing sector is playing a significant role in the kingdom’s economy with the total annual production of seafood standing at 1.4 million tonnes according to a report from FAO.

In 2022, the country recorded US$2.7 billion in export value as a result of increased demand for the country’s products by other nations.

In addition, Morocco is the world’s 18th largest and Africa’s top seafood exporter of products such as canned sardines and semi-preserved anchovies.

Meanwhile, Mauritania has a unique climatic system making it one of the most productive fishery coasts in the world, according to a 2015 report, Mauritania Fishing Sector: Investing in Nouadhibou Free Zone’s Seafood Cluster by Sid’Ahmed Bouh.

More recently, Mauritania and the European Union signed a sustainable fisheries partnership agreement (SFPA) to allow cooperation in the fisheries sector, key for the development of Mauritania.

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