22 April 2022. Mauritania today published its second annual report to the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI), in another significant step strengthening the country’s efforts to improve transparency in fisheries management. The report covers information for calendar years 2019 and 2020, as well as all twelve transparency requirements of the FiTI Standard.
During a national press conference, Mauritania’s newly appointed Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy, Mr. Mohamed Abdidine Mayif, emphasized the importance of sharing accessible and credible information with stakeholders in Mauritania, as well as the country’s international business and development partners.
This latest report, which comes only 11 months after Mauritania released its first FiTI Report for 2018, provides the first comprehensive information overview of fisheries management efforts in Mauritania, covering important thematic areas such as vessels, payments and catches from Mauritania’s large-scale and small-scale fisheries, trade data, information on fisheries subsidies, as well as the current situation regarding beneficial ownership transparency in the country.
For each of the 12 transparency requirements of the FiTI Standard, this report outlines what information is available to Mauritanian’s public authorities, which of this information has been made publicly accessible, and where important information gaps still persists. Most notably, the report shows that:
- previously unpublished information is now publicly available (either online or as part of this FiTI Report), including a list of large-scale fishing vessels, payments from large-scale fisheries, and a list of public sector development projects related to fisheries and marine conservation;
- further efforts are required to improve the availability and publication of data concerning, for example, key attributes of large-scale vessels operating in Mauritania’s waters, sanctions for major offences in the country’s fisheries sector, or information on beneficial ownership;
- a significant amount of information is not yet collected or compiled by Mauritania’s national authorities – such as the number of small-scale fishing licences, comprehensive information on discards in the large-scale fisheries, or official information on fisheries subsidies;
- six out of 15 stakeholder recommendations from Mauritania’s 2018 FiTI Report have already been fully implemented by national authorities in the country.
The country’s FiTI National Multi-Stakeholder Group (NMSG), which formally approved this 2019 & 2020 FiTI Report during its last meeting on 24 March, also published a significant amount of information on its own website to facilitate public access to information for both national and international stakeholders.
Minister Mayif further expressed his sincere congratulations to the members of the NMSG for this commendable report, and thanked the International Secretariat of the FiTI and the Regional Partnership for Coastal and Marine Conservation (PRCM) for their continued support and assistance.
Prior to his appointment, Minister Mayif acted as one of the Report Compiler for Mauritania’s 2018 FiTI Report.
The release of the FiTI Report covering calendar year 2019 – which was due by December 2020 – was significantly delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to make up for the lost time, the FiTI NMSG decided to publish a combined report for calendar years 2019 and 2020.
Mauritania’s next FiTI Report, covering calendar 2021, is due by end of December 2022.
Furthermore, Mauritania will undergo its first ever validation process before the end of this year. Regular validations of implementing countries are an essential part of the FiTI process, serving to assess a country’s compliance with the FiTI Standard, as well as safeguarding the integrity of the FiTI by holding all FiTI implementing countries to the same global standard.