Mauritaina is characterized by fast-growing fisheries that have developed over the past several decades from low levels of fishing to intense fishing and have led to severe decreases in biomass and severe signs of overexploitation. To ensure sustainable fisheries, a primary goal of science-based fisheries policy is to provide an adequate conservation status of marine habitats that are directly, or indirectly, fundamental for the lifecycle of fish populations of commercial interest.

This paper presents the economic value of the fish provisioning service of marine coastal ecosystems of the National Park of Banc d’Arguin in Mauritania. The study estimated the added value of artisanal fisheries, the spatial distribution of fishing activities, the contribution of the Park to the Mauritanian fisheries and the heritage value of artisanal fisheries.

The results show that, overall, the average value for artisanal fisheries is about 1 million euros over the period 2006-2017. However, the authors state that it mainly benefits to the ship-owners, which generates inequalities and threatens the livelihoods of the Imraguen (residents of the National Park of Banc d’Arguin).

The authors state that fishing grounds are mostly located close to the shore, associated with seagrass beds, confirming the service of fish provisioning rendered by this ecosystem. The contribution of the Park to fishing activities that occur within the Mauritanian Exclusive Zone is estimated to 15%, representing an added value creation of 71 million euros.

The authors highlight the necessity of incorporating an ecosystem-based approach along with fishers’ knowledge and adaptability into future conservation plan of the National Park of Banc d’Arguin and fisheries management at the local, national and regional scale.

Trégarot et al (2020) The role of marine protected areas in sustaining fisheries: The case of the National Park of Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania. Aquaculture and Fisheries 5: 253-264.