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Moving towards stronger and healthier shrimp fishery in Cameroon

FISH4ACP presents analysis report of Cameroon’s shrimp value chain

2 October 2023, Yaoundé – Efforts to keep shrimp catches in Cameroon at current levels while strengthening the shrimp fishery were in the spotlight today at the handover of a report by the global fish value chain development program FISH4ACP that is helping the country to make its shrimp sector stronger and to lessen its impact on the environment.   

“Shrimp is our main seafood export product. It brings economic revenues and contributes to the livelihood of many people,” said Dr Taiga, Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries today, accepting the FISH4ACP report “Large shrimp value chain in Cameroon”. Dr Taiga added: “However, we need to keep shrimp stocks stable to safeguard this important resource for future generations.” 

According to the report, yearly shrimp production in Cameroon is estimated at 4 200 tonnes from industrial and over 1 000 tonnes from artisanal fishing. Worth over USD 30 million per year, the report said, shrimp is a profitable business for all the actors involved – industrial and artisanal fishers, processors, wholesalers and retailers. In addition, the sector employs some 1 800 predominantly young people.  

The reported findings result from a value chain analysis spearheaded by FISH4ACP, an initiative of the Organization 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), which helps to make Cameroon’s shrimp sector stronger and more sustainable.   

The analysis in turn led to a ten-year strategy, launched last year with sector-wide consensus, to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the shrimp value chain and to lessen its impact on the environment by keeping catches at current levels with improved data collection and traceability along the value chain and by increasing shrimp sales by improving control, quality and access to higher value markets. 

“It is great to see how FISH4ACP works to make Cameroon’s shrimps sector stronger while stabilizing stocks and protecting the environment,” said Valentin Katzer, Head of Cooperation at the German Embassy.  

Philippe Mayaux, minister-counsellor at the EU Delegation in Cameroon agreed, adding: “This shows that it is possible to promote responsible fishing while stimulating economic growth and creating jobs.” 

“FISH4ACP has started unlocking the potential of Cameroon’s shrimp fishery,” said Athman Mravili, FAO Representative in Cameroon. “FAO is happy to contribute to this blue transformation, and achieve better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life.” 

Athman Mravili commended the establishment of the shrimp platform “PLACRECAM”, which brings together key actors from across the value chain and oversees the execution of the strategy. Eventually, it will ensure that FISH4ACP’s efforts will last beyond the end of the initiative in 2025.  

Earlier this year, members of the platform exchanged with counterparts in Senegal and Madagascar and learned about key issues to strengthen resources management, enhance control and monitoring and improve access to remunerative markets for Cameroon’s large shrimp.  

A baseline study is currently underway in preparation of an update of the industrial shrimp sector’s management plan and to draft a first ever management plan for the artisanal fishery. At the same time, the development of a digital tool for shrimp catch data collection is about to be launched, as well as a quality standard́ for shrimp fishery products.  

These activities will help to reinforce the business and sanitary environment, moving Cameroon toward a stronger and healthier shrimp fishery that brings benefits to the local economy and fosters employment, in particular for women and youth.