An article published in le Quotidien de Nouakchott (Mauritania) informs that the dozen of Chinese vesselsÂ FU YUAN YUÂ detected in the Mediterranean some weeks ago, and suspected of IUU fishing for bluefin tuna, – something that was denounced by WWF, have arrived in the harbour of Nouadhibou. Their activites are linked to the Convention signed between Mauritania and the Chinese company PolyHondone in June 2010, for a duration of 25 years. The article recalls that this Convention ‘raised much debate in the Parliamentary session of June 2011’.
These vessels have joined a Chinese fleet involved in experimental pelagic and coastal fishing.Â Their operations should serve to supply the small pelagics processing plant in Nouadhibou, which is also part of the Mauritania-Poly Hondone Convention.
The article also reveals that the implementation of the Convention is not easy: given the selectivity measures imposed by the Mauritanian authorities to the Chinese fleet, the profitability is not what was expected by the Chinese investor. This investor, which, under supervision from the research centre IMROP, led an experimental fishing campaign with six vessels fishing for small pelagics, is now realising that the production of these vessels, when they abide by selectivity measures, is notÂ sufficient to have the processing plant working at full capacity. The two parties are now facing a dilemna and are trying to find a solution.Â
The Mauritanian authorities wish for the continuation of the Chinese fleet activities, as they are hoping this will have a social impact: the creation of jobs on board for a few dozens, or even a few hundreds Mauritanians. The Chinese investor hopes that social pressure will force the Mauritanian authorities to allow the fleet to use other fishing gears, to make the operations profitable.