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Capacity Building Training in Mauritania Aims to Counter Destabilizing Impacts of Distant Water Fishing Vessels

Nouakchott, Mauritania – September 5, 2023
In an effort to combat the destabilizing effects of foreign-owned Distant Water Fishing Vessels (DWFVs) on Mauritania’s marine resources, an intensive capacity-building and training workshop took place on September 5, 2023.
This training, organized with the help of Mauritanie 2000, as a country partner of the DWFV project team, is part of a broader initiative aimed at enhancing the ability of local media, civil society organizations (CSOs), and community actors to monitor and report on the destructive activities of DWFVs in the Gulf of Guinea. DWFVs are primarily foreign-owned vessels exploiting ocean resources, leading to depleted fish stocks and illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, causing severe economic and environmental repercussions.
The destabilizing impacts of DWFVs have been felt across coastal countries in the Gulf of Guinea, where the lack of institutional and human capacity, coupled with a stringent fisheries governance regime, has allowed foreign vessels to exploit the region’s resources with impunity. This exploitation has led to significant losses in income and an estimated $2 billion annual economic impact across West Africa due to IUU fishing.
The training aimed to equip journalists, CSOs, and community actors with the skills necessary to effectively monitor and report on the detrimental influences of DWFVs. The program covered various topics, including an overview of Mauritania’s national and regional fisheries, fisheries governance, transparency and accountability, livelihoods, food security, IUU fishing, and the destabilizing impacts of DWFVs in Mauritanian waters.
Expected outcomes of the training include improved capacity for effective reporting, a better understanding of fisheries laws and management policies, and an overall increase in transparency and accountability in DWFV fishing activities in Mauritania.
The DWFV Project Working team, in collaboration with Mauritanie 2000, will continue working towards these objectives. The U.S. Embassy in Mauritania has also been approached to support the project, recognizing the importance of government involvement and key stakeholders in addressing the destabilizing impacts of DWFVs. The training was conducted in person at the Sunset Hotel in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and is seen as a crucial step in promoting local capacity to combat the negative impacts of foreign fishing vessels in the region.