The Green March Brings Forth the Desert Treasures

Mayuka Tanabe
Publication date: 
September 2016

Japan-Morocco economic and technical cooperation in the fishing sector has inadvertently resulted in Moroccan domestic politics integrating Western Sahara into the national territory. Japanese cooperation does not officially extend to Western Sahara due to the region’s disputed political status, yet it was nevertheless effectively used by the Moroccan government to develop the fishing industry in the region. This was motivated by the rich fishing grounds off the south- Atlantic coastline, from Tarfaya to the Mauritanian border, which are good for more than 60 percent of the Moroccan national fishery production in quantity and value. Furthermore, after thirty years of Japanese cooperation, the Moroccan fishing industry in Laâyoune and Dakhla (Western Sahara) now plays a leading role in the south-south cooperation between Morocco and sub-Saharan countries, by initiating workshops and educational programmes designed for the transferral of technical knowledge.