The Mauritanian artisanal fishing sector is currently characterized by a sharp deterioration of the social and economic situation of the artisanal fishermen. “The fishermen don’t have social protection, despite the high risks of their work”, explains Haroun Ismaël, Chairperson of the Mauritanian Artisanal Fishermen’s Committee.
Moreover, artisanal fishing in Mauritania scarcely feeds its man. “A large majority of fishermen live in poverty and their fate is in the hands of the fish buyers. Lots of money is generated in the fishery sector, but unfortunately it never trickles down to the fishermen”, regrets Ibrahima Sarr. “Sometimes, the little fish they bring back is not valued in the best way. More and more, fishermen are unable to cover the costs of their fishing trips”, adds Haroun Ismaël.
This is a situation that pushes many away from the sea. «We have boats, but no crew to go and fish on them. Even the Senegalese [present in Mauritania]who are more experienced at fishing than us, no longer find crews. Many of them have migrated. Mauritanians who had gone into fishing now prefer working in mines or engage in agriculture. We have a serious problem of labor force in the sector», confides Sid Ahmed Abeid, President of the National Fishing Federation – Artisanal section (FNP).