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FAO empowers small-scale fisheries across the Eastern Central Atlantic region

Strengthened artisanal fisheries to significantly reduce poverty and food insecurity

Photo: @FAO/Samuel Creppy

5 November 2019, Accra – Artisanal fisheries, also referred as small-scale fisheries, is a predominant livelihood in Africa, which comprises of more than half of the fisheries sector and involves more than 7.5 million men and 2.3 million women in the region. With such widespread involvement, artisanal fisheries significantly contribute to poverty alleviation and food security household in the African region.

To improve livelihoods and increase food security within the region, the members of the Committee on Fisheries for the Eastern Atlantic (CECAF) on Artisanal Fisheries, gathered at the 6th Artisanal Fisheries Working Group (AFWG) to discuss the progress on the implementation of regional and international initiatives and instruments for sustainable artisanal fisheries like the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines).

Improving artisanal fisheries in the Eastern Central Atlantic region

In the 5th session held in Dakar in 2018, the committee drew up a work plan for the working group, to make artisanal fisheries sustainable in both long and short terms. This session reviewed results of the activities from the 5th session and discussed how priority indicators of small-scale fishing can be captured under data collection. They also discussed keeping inventory of the data collection, methods and approaches to facilitate the exchange of experiences in the CECAF region, characterizing and defining artisanal fisheries in the region for carrying out socioeconomic studies on specific issues on the sector.

Key recommendations to sustainable artisanal fishing

After several analysis and deliberations on the focused areas of making artisanal fisheries sustainable, the working group concluded the meeting with key recommendations and follow on actions on artisanal fisheries in the Eastern Atlantic region.

The working group encouraged countries to involve professional and non-state organizations more closely in the process of harmonizing and improving their data collection systems. The working group also proposed appropriate approaches for collecting data on the priority indicators they identified.

As part of the conclusion, the 34 countries in the region were to designate national focal points to facilitate exchanges within the working group and the fish farmers. The working group will also have to meet annually to consolidate the procedures and define the priorities of its work plan in relation to the main areas of focus in the 6th session, which were data collection and analysis, socio-economic and environmental issues.

To cap it off, the working group recommended that they continue adopting activities in the action plan from the 5th session have to be implemented. The working group also promised to encourage collaboration with research institutes, universities and professional and non-state organizations in the conduct of studies. The working group proposed a close collaboration with other CECAF working groups as well as conducting these studies.

CECAF in the region

The Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic (CECAF) was established to promote the sustainable utilization of the living marine resources within its area of competence by the proper management and development of the fisheries and fishing operations.

The 34-member committee set up by the FAO is structured to promote sustainable development of marine resources, responsible fisheries management and regional cooperation on fishing policy issues.

 

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