Having overfished their own fish stocks, European and other foreign countries have turned to African waters to sustain their fishing industries. At the time of this campaign, the EU had Fisheries Partnership Agreements (FPA) with seven West African countries including Mauritania and Mozambique and had an FBA with Senegal that the EU discontinued in 2006. The EU also had a Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) that managed the exploitation of living aquatic resources and ensured sustainable economic, environmental and social conditions.
In 1959, French, British, Italian, and German interests established a mining and steel-making consortium- Societe Anonyme des Mines de Fer de Mauritanie (MIFERMA)- with the purpose of extracting and exporting resources from Mauritania. MIFERMA became a dominant force in Mauritania’s industrialization. International press celebrated the new iron ore mines as Mauritania’s entry into the 20th century.