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High supply and low prices boost octopus fishing ban

Octopus catch. (Photo: Stock File)
Click on the flag for more information about Mauritania MAURITANIA
Friday, August 29, 2014, 03:50 (GMT + 9)

For three months octopus will not be allowed to be caught in Mauritanian waters, following the ban enacted by the Government of this country from 21 August.
The measure was adopted after evaluating a request from fishermen and SMCP supply company, who proposed the suspension of the fishing activity given the oversupply and falling prices.
The president of the Federation of Artisanal Fisheries, Sidi Ahmed Ould Abeid, explained EFE agency that the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy published a "commercial decree," which aims to facilitate the sale of "enormous reserves of frozen octopus based on existing prices between producers and customers, especially the Japanese ones."
He said that inventories of frozen octopus total 6,000 tonnes at present, a volume representing three-quarters of all the frozen species.
For the National Association of the Cephalopod Sector (ANACEF) of Spain, this "commercial" stoppage confirms that there was no "scientific or legal reason to exclude the European cephalopod fleet" from the bilateral pact.
ANACEF gathers 24 Spanish vessels that had been expelled from the African fishing ground two years ago, when Mauritania and the European Union (EU) signed the new fisheries agreement.
Therefore, ANACEF demands "the immediate reintegration into the European fleet of the cephalopod fishing opportunities that were lost in 2012 without which, to be fair, the fishing agreement should not be renewed by the EU," which expires this year and is still undergoing the negotiation process.
According to ANACEF president, Francisco Freire, following the departure of the European cephalopod vessels "there was such an excess in captures that the supply exceeded the demand by 6,000 tonnes and brought down prices in the Japanese market and the stock remained stored in Nouadhibou."
The official holds that these data confirm the "error" made by the EU Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki, by accepting a fishing pact that does not include octopus captures although good fishing activity was being recorded.
Freire recalled that the Mauritanian authorities "sold these cephalopod fishing opportunities to the Chinese multinational firm Poly Hondone while the rest of the European fleet only used half of the fishing opportunities that were authorized by the covenant, with an expense of EUR 140 million to the EU in two years."
Related articles:
- Spain regrets exclusion of European fleet from Mauritania
- Part of European fleet may continue fishing in Mauritania

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