Protecting fishing grounds

Fostering the sustainable management of fishing grounds and aquaculture

Fishing boats at Nouakchott beach in Mauritania

With its special initiative ONE WORLD– No Hunger, the BMZ is helping to improve the availability of fish for food-insecure people around the world. Assistance is being provided specifically for artisanal fishermen and aquaculture farmers who work in a sustainable manner.

The BMZ is doing this by supporting efforts aimed at fostering the sustainable management of artisanal fisheries and the certification of fishery products, and at fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) – both internationally and in various partner countries. All projects comply with the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries (VGSSF) and the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF).

Concrete achievements: Monitoring of fishing off the African coast

The waters along the coastline of Mauritania were at risk of being overfished due to the growing number of local fishing fleets and particularly due to the increase in international fishing fleets. This was not only damaging the local economy, it was also jeopardising the ecosystem, the fish stocks and the food supply for neighbouring countries.

Assisted by Germany, Mauritania has developed plans for the sustainable management of its fish stocks, so as to protect them for the future. These plans regulate where and when fishing is allowed, and the volume of catch that is permitted. In order to ensure that the regulations are followed, helped by German funding, Mauritania has now set up a modern and efficient fisheries monitoring system for the 200 nautical miles of its exclusive economic zone. An ocean-going frigate now patrols the waters together with smaller fishery patrol boats, and shipping is also monitored by radar, transponder and satellite. A strong monitoring agency has also been set up, with the authority to determine what penalty must be paid by any fishermen caught fishing illegally and to apply the fine.

Mauritania is the only country in Africa, apart from South Africa, to have set up such a fishery monitoring system.

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