IIAS Lunch Lecture

South-Atlantic fishing in Morocco in the framework created by the Japanese cooperation

Since 1985, the fishing sector in Morocco has been profoundly transformed by the Japanese cooperation. The improvement of infrastructure, fishing techniques and human resources have made Morocco less dependent on Europe and gained them more negotiating power over the fisheries agreements. Also, the development of the artisanal fishing sector helped the fishermen acquire advanced fishing techniques and hygiene standard for their merchandise, which made their product competitive in the international market. Furthermore, the result of the Japanese cooperation was effectively used by the Moroccan government to develop and integrate the Western Sahara. It started with the building of the Agadir port with the Japanese ODA, which contributed in providing a national disembarkation point for the vessels fishing in the offshores of Laâyoune and Dakhla. Together with this economic development, there was an accelerated internal migration of the fishermen to the Western Sahara, the region blessed with a rich fishing ground. Eventually Moroccan government had built the most advanced ports and fisheries facilities in the Western Sahara, which became the centre of fisheries trade and export for Morocco proper.

Mayuka Tanabe is a research fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies and African Studies Centre in Leiden, specialising in Asian-African relations from an anthropological perspective. She received her master’s degrees at the University of Cambridge (M.Phil. Social Anthropology) and the University of Oxford (M.Litt. Chinese Studies). From 2009 to 2013 she was resident in Morocco where she taught Academic Study Skills at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, and the Lebanese International University in Casablanca. She has been an affiliated researcher at the Moroccan Centre for Social Sciences, Université Hassan II – Casablanca since 2011. She obtained her doctorate in Middle Eastern Studies at Leiden University in 2015. Her research focused on the work practice of Ayt Khebbash (Amazigh) fossil artisans in southeastern Morocco. Her current project deals with the socio-cultural impact of Japanese-Moroccan cooperation in the artisanal fishing communities in Agadir and Dakhla.  

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About IIAS Lunch Lectures

Every month, one of the IIAS affilated fellows will give an informal presentation about his/her work-in-progress for colleagues and other interested parties. IIAS organises these lunch lectures to give the research community an opportunity to freely discuss ongoing research and exchange thoughts and ideas. Lunch lectures are sometimes also organised for visiting scholars.