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Part I Statistics and main indicators

  1. Country brief
  2. General geographic and economic indicators
  3. FAO Fisheries statistics

The Profile (2006)

    Additional information

    1. FAO Thematic data bases
    2. Publications
    3. Meetings & News archive

    Part I Statistics and main indicators

    Part I of the Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profile is compiled using the most up-to-date information available from the FAO Country briefs and Statistics programmes at the time of publication. The Country Brief and the FAO Fisheries Statistics provided in Part I may, however, have been prepared at different times, which would explain any inconsistencies.

    Country briefUpdated 03-2017

    The marine fisheries sector is one of the main pillars of the national economy. Estimates of fisheries contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) vary between 4 and 10 percent, representing about one fourth of the Government budgetary resources. The sector employed approximately over 55 000 persons in 2013/2014.

    Catches in Mauritania’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) amounted to around 800 000 tonnes in both 2014 and 2015. Total catch by the approximately 4 000 national vessels of the industrial and artisanal fishery, was about 363 000 tonnes in 2014 and 389 000 tonnes in 2015. The remaining half of the catch was caught by Distant Water Fishing Nations (DWFNs), including the European Union, the Russian Federation and vessels flying flags of convenience operating under an open licence regime. The quantities effectively landed in Mauritania originated mostly from artisanal catches (approximately 324 000 tonnes in 2014 and 357 000 in 2015) and a part of the industrial catch which is transformed at local factories. Several of the important fishery resources are shared with neighbour states. The most recent assessment shows that important stocks such as sardinella and octopus are overexploited.

    The inland fishery is seasonal and is conducted on several water bodies, mainly the Senegal river and its tributaries. Catches, estimated at approximately 15 000 tonnes, are consumed by the fisher’s families or sold locally. Except some pilot experiences mainly jellyfish, aquaculture is practically non-existent.

    National demand for fish is low, and the average consumption per capita, originating mainly from the artisanal sector, is estimated at between 8 and 10 kg/year, and can reach up to 20 kg/year in the urban areas of the coast, Nouakchott and Nouadhibou.

    Traditionally, more than 95 per cent of catches from the Mauritanian EEZ are exported. The export value of fisheries products was estimated at about USD 380 million in 2014. However, the main commercial transactions are linked to the selling of fishing licenses to foreign fleets, rather than fisheries products.

    The Government has currently in Place a Plan of Action for the Sector, the National Responsible Management Strategy for Sustainable Development of Fisheries and the Maritime Economy 2015-2019 focusing on six main areas of operational lines:
    1. Improve knowledge of fisheries resources and their environment;
    2. Optimize management of the exploitation of fishery resources;
    3. Strengthen the integration of the fisheries sector into the national economy;
    4. Develop maritime affairs;
    5. To promote the development of inland fisheries and aquaculture;
    6. Strengthening good governance of fisheries.

    Since July 1996, Mauritania is party to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the law of the sea (UNCLOS); and is signatory to the 1995 Agreement on straddling and highly migratory stocks,

    Mauritania is also active member of the Research institutes network and the small scale fisheries Organization that were promoted by FAO/SNE during the last years.

    General geographic and economic indicators

    Table 1 - General Geographic and Economic Data – Islamic Republic of Mauritania

    Shelf area:

    39,000 km²

    Ministère des Pêches et de l’Economie Maritime:

    Length of continental coastline: 720 km

    Ministère des Pêches et de l’Economie Maritime:

    Fisheries GDP (2013): 3,4% National GDP

    Institut Mauritanean de Recherche Océanagraphic et de Pêches: (IMROP):

    Rapport Provisoire de Synthèse

    Key statistics

    Country area1 030 700km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Land area1 030 700km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Inland water area0km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.4.124millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2018
    Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area173 728km2VLIZ
    GDP (current US$)5 025millionsWorld Bank. 2017
    GDP per capita (current US$)1 137US$World Bank. 2017
    Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added22.89% of GDPWorld Bank. 2017

    Source: FAO Country Profile

    FAO Fisheries statisticsTable 2 in this section is based on statistics prepared by the Statistics and Information Branch of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and disseminated in 2016. The charts are based on the same source but these are automatically updated every year with the most recent disseminated statistics.

    Table 2 – Employment and Fleet Statistics – Islamic Republic of Mauritania

          1980 1990 2000 2010 2012 2013 2014
    EMPLOYMENT (thousands) 11.69 1.00
      Capture 11.69 1.00
        Inland 10.83 1.00
        Marine 0.86
    FLEET(thousands vessels) 2.90
    Source: FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics
    1) Due to roundings total may not sum up

    Please note: Fishery statistical data here presented exclude the production for marine mammals, crocodiles, corals, sponges, pearls, mother-of-pearl and aquatic plants.


    Updated 2006The Profile

    This country profile provides statistics and indicators produced through FAO’s Statistics programmes, supplemented with information derived from national and other sources and valid at the time of compilation.

    Full text of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Country Profile available at /fishery/docs/DOCUMENT/fcp/fr/FI_CP_MR.pdf

    Additional information

    FAO Thematic data bases

    Meetings & News archive


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