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10-year plan for more productive and sustainable mahi-mahi sector

FISH4ACP presents upgrading strategy to make value chain stronger, more equitable and environmentally friendly

3 November 2022, Santo Domingo – A ten-year development plan, presented by FISH4ACP to the fisheries sector today, aims to strengthen the mahi-mahi value chain in the Dominican Republic, while making sure that benefits are shared equitably and growth does not increase the burden on the environment.  

“Our priority is to modernize the fisheries sector, while improving the livehoods of fisherfolk and preserving the aquatic ecosystems on which our fisheries depend,” said Carlos Then, Director of the Dominican Council for Fisheries and Aquaculture (CODOPESCA) at a meeting in Santo Domingo where a ten-year upgrading strategy for the mahi-mahi sector was presented to key stakeholders of the Dominican fisheries sector. 

The strategy was spearheaded by FISH4ACP, an initiative of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) implemented by FAO with funding from the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), working to make fish value chains more productive and sustainable. 

It is based on a value chain analysis conducted earlier this year by FISH4ACP in collaboration with CODOPESCA, ISA University and value chain stakeholders, which estimates production of mahi-mahi at 321 tonnes worth USD 7.5 million per year and calculated that one of six fishers in the Dominican Republic, 2 500 in total, is dedicated to mahi-mahi fishing. 

“This strategy will strengthen every link of the mahi-mahi value chain and bring socio-economic benefits to the people that are part of this sector,” said Nuria Ballesteros Menéndez, Program Officer at the European Union (EU) Delegation in the Dominican Republic. She added: “FISH4ACP promotes social equity and the wellbeing of fishing communities and environmental sustainability in line with the Agenda 2030 the Europe supports.”  

During the two-days meeting, stakeholders and experts involved in the mahi-mahi sector reviewed the upgrading strategy and discussed priority activities towards the achievement of its core objectives.  

They agreed that strengthening the governance of the sector is a cornerstone for a responsibly managed and sustainable value chain. At the same time, they stressed the need to improve fishery infrastructure and the production process, for example in regards to refrigeration required to ensure the safety and quality of fishery products, using a mix of clean and conventional energy to reduce the environmental impact.  

Moreover, experts and stakeholders discussed ways to strengthen fisher’s associations and cooperatives to improve working conditions in the value chain and identified training needs across the value chain, including on good handling practices for mahi-mahi and by-products. 

They also raised the possibility of creating a platform for better cooperation across the sector, which would enable improved marketing of domestic mahi-mahi and promotion of responsible and informed fish consumption. 

Rodrigo Castañeda, FAO Representative in the Dominican Republic, stressed that the Dominican mahi-mahi value chain is fully artisanal. “Artisanal fisheries play a vital role in food security, but face major challenges such as climate change,” he said. “FAO is happy that FISH4ACP can contribute to a blue transformation of fisheries in this country while advancing our goal of eradicating hunger and leaving no one behind.”