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  1. Introduction
  2. Mandate
  3. History
  4. Legal framework
  5. Area of competence
  6. Species and stocks coverage
  7. Languages
  8. Members
  9. Structure
  10. EIMS Publications Database
  11. Social networks
  12. Contact
Introduction

The Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation Among African States Bordering the Atlantic (ATLAFCO; better known by its French acronym, COMHAFAT, Conférence ministérielle sur la coopération haleutique des États Africains riverains de l’Océan Atlantique) is a regional fisheries advisory body founded in 1989 gathering 22 countries from Morocco to Namibia. The ATLAFCO Constitutive Convention, "the Regional Convention on Fisheries Cooperation among African States bordering the Atlantic Ocean", adopted on July 5, 1991 in Dakar, Senegal, sets out the areas and modalities of Regional Fisheries Cooperation between Member States and entered into force in July 1995. ATLAFCO provides advice for more than 50 fisheries. It is one of the oldest fisheries cooperation conventions in Africa.

Mandate

The main goal of ATLAFCO is the effective and active cooperation between Member States for the preservation of fishery resources and the sustainable development of fisheries in the region. It promotes the adoption of an integrated regional approach to solve common problems. Its slogan "Exploit today without compromising tomorrow…".

ATLAFCO mandate:

  • Development, coordination and harmonization of efforts and capacities of Member States to preserve, exploit, develop and commercialize fisheries resources
  • Improvement of the social condition of fishermen
  • Marine scientific research
  • Protection of the marine environment
  • Monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activities
  • Solidarity with landlocked and / or geographically protected African States

ATLAFCO functions:

  • Strengthening maritime training;
  • Development of fisheries research and marine sciences;
  • Promotion of trade and exploitation of fisheries products;
  • Implementation of laws regulating responsible fishing;
  • Conservation and exploitation of fisheries resources;
  • Assessment and conservation of highly migratory marine migrants;
  • Monitoring, surveillance and control of fishing vessels;
  • Marketing of fisheries products;
  • Planning and financing of the fisheries sector;
  • Strengthening vocational and technical training;
  • Harmonization of policies.

ATLAFCO mission is:

  • Means:
  • Strengthening maritime training;
  • Development of fisheries research and marine sciences;
  • Promotion of trade and exploitation of fisheries products;
  • Implementation of laws regulating responsible fishing.
  • Areas:
  • Conservation and exploitation of fisheries resources;
  • Assessment and conservation of highly migratory marine migrants;
  • Monitoring, surveillance and control of fishing vessels;
  • Marketing of fisheries products;
  • Planning and financing of the fisheries sector;
  • Strengthening vocational and technical training;
  • Harmonization of policies.

ATLAFCO principles:

  • Consistency with the spirit of the Constitutive Convention and its provisions;
  • Adoption of an integrated regional approach to solve common problems;
  • Coherent multi-level approach between international, regional, and state levels.
History

The African States bordering the Atlantic Ocean met in Rabat (Morocco) from 30 March to 1 April 1989 and adopted the Rabat Declaration for the protection of fishery resources in view of the urgent need to safeguard them. The countries involved agreed to promote international cooperation in line with the aspirations of the States of the Region, in collaboration with competent sub-regional, regional, and international organizations, within the context of a fisheries management strategy designed to serve the economic, social and nutritional development of their populations.

The ATLAFCO States also negotiated a shift in the South-South cooperation thanks to the provisions of the "new international maritime order", established by the United Nations Convention on the law of the sea in 1982.

ATLAFCO Constitutive Convention, "the Regional Convention on Fisheries Cooperation among African States bordering the Atlantic Ocean", was adopted on 5 July 1991 in Dakar (Senegal). The Convention sets out the areas and modalities of Regional Fisheries Cooperation among Member States based in the "new international maritime order" established by the United Nations Convention on the law of the sea (1982). ATLAFCO headquarters are located in Rabat under the hosting Agreement of 24 October 2009. The General Director of FAO is the depositary of the ATLAFCO Convention, which entered into force in 1995 and was registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations on 21 February 1996 under No. I-32592. The Protocol on the institutional framework of ATLAFCO was adopted on 15 October 1999 in Conakry, Guinea.

Legal framework Area of competence

Beginning at the Namibian-South African boundary at the mouth of the Orange River, thence due west along the 30º South parallel to the meridian 20° West, thence due north along the 20º West meridian to the equator, thence due west along the equator to the meridian 30° West, thence due north along the 30º West meridian to a parallel 5° North, thence due west along the 5º North parallel to the meridian 40° West, thence due north along the 40º West meridian to the 36° North parallel, thence due east to the coast of the African continent at Cape Spartel.

COMHAFAT/ATLAFCO area of competence - EEZ
The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers and boundaries. Dashed lines on maps represent approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement.
Species and stocks coverageAll marine living resources. LanguagesArabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish. Members

Member: Angola, Benin, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Dem. Rep. of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo.

Structure

The Conference of Ministers: organ of policy, orientation and decision in matters of cooperation.

The Bureau: it operates as the coordination office of the Conference of Ministers”. It acts as the follow-up committee of the Conference.

The Secretariat: is “the executive organ”, which is represented by the Executive Secretary.

Networks:

Fisheries research institutions (RAFISMER): Is a tool of informing decision-makers' choices related to fisheries and aquaculture sector, improving the training of researchers, disseminating the results of research down to the ground, harmonizing and defending scientifically the positions of Africa in international meetings dedicated to fisheries resources.

Maritime training institutions (REFMA): this network is a major contributor to the development of programs that are coordinated or adapted to countries or regions of the African continent, for training in marine fishing and navigation dedicated to fishing.

Women’s organizations (RAFEP): It is a network of national associations of women operating in fisheries, which, through workshops, study tours, on-site sessions, contributes to the promotion of the African women's participation in the sustainable development of fisheries and the economic and social development of their countries.

Organogram

EIMS Publications Database Media materials Social networks Web sources

ATLAFCO websites:

Union of International Associations

Contact

ATLAFCO Secretariat

Abdelouahed BENABBOU (Executive Secretary)

N°2, Rue Beni Darkoul, Ain Khalouiya - Souissi Rabat, Morocco

Telephone: +212 5 30 77 42 24 /21

Fax: +212 5 30 17 42 42

Email: benabbou.comhafat

 
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