Mauritania - Country Commercial Guide
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In the north, Mauritania’s Exclusive Economic Zone contains some of the world’s richest fishing grounds.  The fishing sector is very important to the Mauritanian economy, estimated to contribute between four to ten percent of Mauritania’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and account for between 35 to 50 percent of Mauritania’s exports.  The annual catch is estimated at 750,000 tons.  The fishery sector generates socio-economic benefits and offers important opportunities for job creation with over 65,000 direct and 226,000 indirect jobs through sailors, fisherman, fishmongers, and processors, of which 70 percent are in the artisanal fisheries sub-sectors.  Most of the jobs are informal and sometimes seasonal due to fishing seasons for certain species. 


This sector offers opportunities for U.S. food processors to provide local value-added processing before fish products are shipped.  A substantial portion of the catch is exported directly to Europe and Japan without being offloaded or processed in Mauritania, and an increasing portion of the catch is being turned into fishmeal by Turkish and Chinese companies for export to China. 

The government’s 2020-2024 fisheries strategy aims to increase domestic fish processing by promoting joint ventures between Mauritanian companies and foreign investors.  Spain is the primary destination for Mauritanian fish exports, some of which are processed and re-exported to the United States.