Essaouira Mogador is a town at the Atlantic coast of Morocco

En langue française


The port of Essaouira


It is said that the port of Essaouira was founded by the Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah to punish the city of Agadir, where rebellions against the leading power took place.

Soon after its foundation 1770 until the first half of the nineteenth century, the port was the most important trading port between Europe, Africa and the Americas. Mogador is the old port of Morocco but when Casablanca grew up to the North and Agadir to the South, it lost its status.
The port has been enlarged several times since then. The most important 1915 and between 1924 and 1967.

Bab elr mersa
All import and export have to go
through Bab el Mersa

More Old postcards of the port here

"The port was known as the “ Port of Timbuktu ” because most African products for export ended up there, including slaves (children of Bambara, in the gnaoua mythology). Sultan Ben Abdellah promoted free trade policies by reducing customs and encouraging the settlement of rich merchants and Jews to handle trade with Christians. A quarter for foreign merchants was also established.

By 1780, the port was handling almost half of Morocco 's international trade. Export items included ostrich feathers, almonds, gum arabic, ivory and dried camel skins (which were imported from sub-saharan Africa through the caravan trade), while the British brought Manchester cotton and tea."

Locate this sight on the Map of Essaouira Town


Learn more from:

Bab el Mersa

Bab el Mersa - High tide Photo 1906

Unloading low tide

Unloading low tide

Map of the port
Map at the entry of the port

harbour, harbor,




Traditional methods of  sealing the joints

Sealing the joints of the boards with traditional methods.

This ship is taken back to the sea after maintenance.


Signals at the port

This is a harbour signal about the weather.
In the night there are lanterns of red warning
ships of dangerous sea conditions.

Meteorogical station

Direction de la meteorologie National
Station d´Essaouira.

was a metereological station set up in one of the Scala towers and it is the oldest in Morocco.

.The central Morocco
maritime zones

Casablanca-Agadir-Tarfaya but also the southern part of Morocco is important for fishing and the meteorological station offer assistance for port users: The Port captain, captain of ships, yachtmen, fishingmen etc.The Canary Current is responsible for the generally southward movement of ocean circulation and has led to enhancement of the local fishery.




Essaouira port

1950 was the port of Essaouira the most important for Sardines in Morocco. Also for export of cereals. Today the port is non commercial exept for fishing and ship maintenance. The waters are not deep enough for bigger ships.

Essaouira Port Fishing boats

The smaller blue boats go out for fishing when the wind is blowing little from north and there are no
high wawes. The fish is sold in the port market.

More about Fishing


Essaouira port Shipyard


A blue painted door in the port

Interested in doors?


Mogador port Old picture

The port of Mogador
Mid 20th century


Essaouira port


chaff bait

Launching of a ship

Launching a ship from yard at high tide



The following storm signals may be displayed in Moroccan ports:


The following storm signals may be displayed in Moroccan ports
Day signal Night signal Meaning
Black ball Red light Bad weather probable
Two black balls,
vertically disposed
Two red lights,
vertically disposed
Violent gale
Black cylinder No signal Wind expected
to veer
Two black cylinders,
vertically disposed

No signal
Wind expected
to back
One black ball over
one black triangle,point down
Three green
lights, vertically
Dangerous swell, with
height greater
than 4m,
is expected
One black ball over
two black triangles, points down,
vertically disposed
One green light,
one red light, one
green light, vertically
Very dangerous
Source ;

Concrete tetrapods protecting the pier at Essaouira harbour

Concrete tetrapods protecting the pier at Essaouira harbour

Masthead pennant Morooco

Masthead pennant
Morocco Navy

The port High tide

High tide

The port Low tide

Low tide

Learn more about Tides in Tides in Essaouira


Fishermen repairing nets, ropes and wires

Repairing the nets
Fisherman checking his net

Splicing a wire


Blue felucka

Essaouira port

Blue boats in Essaouira port

Waves pier


Graffiti on the pier

Mogador port Landing Passengers

Mogador port -an old postcard



Mogador port



Photo: Edouard Boubat 1971

Unloading the goods

At the entry of the harbour

The bations at Mogador port

Old picture of the Mogador port


External links:

At the Margins : Essaouira Harbour at Dusk

Down by the Harbour

Morocco Produces Half of All Canned Sardines Worldwide


The Port

External links