FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Maghreb Workshop on Artisanal Fisheries: State of Fisheries and Data Collection


Tunis 28 November 2019: The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched a Maghreb workshop on small-scale fisheries in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia and involving participants from the five Maghreb countries and experts from FAO and its partners.

The three-day workshop aims to identify the needs of fisheries managers in the Maghreb countries for information specific to small-scale fisheries for the launch of an inventory of the sector in 2020. This will serve to optimize the collection of regional data, assist countries in the collection of data required by various FAO programs, and establish a roadmap on sub-regional priorities in the field of small-scale fisheries.

In his opening address, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Tunisia, Mr. Diego Zorrilla, noted that, "artisanal fishing is a key activity to achieve sustainable development in the Maghreb countries.”

“A better knowledge of the sector is needed to properly target public policies in support of Maghreb fishermen and their communities," He added.

Mr. Abdelmajid S'hel, representing the Director General of Fisheries and Aquaculture at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, confirmed "the strategic role of marine fisheries in achieving food security and supporting the national economy."

He noted that artisanal fishing has created more than 75,000 job opportunities in Tunisia and that the sector contributes a large part of foreign exchange earnings through exports.

Mr. Marouène Bdioui of the National Institute of Marine Science and Technology highlighted the collaboration with FAO in the field of technical innovation. He also affirmed the importance of having a coherent approach to the collection of data on artisanal fisheries and of sharing good practices to overcome common difficulties and solutions that meet the needs of the Maghreb countries.

This workshop is part of FAO’s and Tunisia’s contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular to the objectives of SDG 14: "To provide small-scale fishers with access to marine resources and markets."

It is one of a series of actions carried out by FAO to define and measure artisanal fisheries in several regions of the world. The output is to provide policy makers in the Maghreb countries with a tool for better management of artisanal fisheries, which directly employ around 150,000 people in the Maghreb countries, not counting actors in ancillary activities, including rural women and young people.


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