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Mauritania Allows European Fishing Vessels to Catch a Surplus

Mauritania signed a two-year fisheries agreement with the European Union worth an annual 70 million euros ($86.5 million), days before a previous accord expired, according to an EU statement.

A deal was reached late yesterday after “a very long negotiation process,” the e-mailed statement cited Maria Damanaki, European commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, as saying.

The agreement allows European vessels to catch the “available surplus” of shrimp, tuna and other pelagic fisheries in return for financial compensation and jobs for Mauritanian seamen, according to the statement.

The coastal waters of the impoverished northwest African nation are among the richest fishing grounds in the world, according to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook.

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