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The FAO Blue Growth Initiative: strategy for the development of fisheries and aquaculture in Eastern Africa. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular FIAA/C1161

As part of FAO’s Blue Growth Initiative (BGI) the FAO Member Countries of the Eastern Africa Sub-Region met to agree on a strategy for the Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture within the Blue Growth Initiative in Eastern Africa (BGI Strategy). The BGI is an FAO flagship initiative that aims at supporting more productive, responsible and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture sectors by improving the governance and management of the aquatic ecosystems, by conserving biodiversity and habitats, and by empowering communities. The BGI is the sustainable growth and development emanating from economic activities in the oceans, wetlands and coastal zones that minimize environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and unsustainable use of living aquatic resources, and maximize economic and social benefits. The Strategy includes 11 over-arching development objectives that are common to fisheries and aquaculture in marine and freshwater environments: 1)To enhance governance and management of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems; 2) To improve global and intra and inter trade and marketing of fish and fisheries products; 3) To enhance production efficiency with reduced impacts on the environment; 4) To create an enabling environment for the private sector and social support; 5) To facilitate people involved in fisheries and aquaculture to utilize resources and to also play an active role in protecting and safeguarding these resources for the benefit of future generations; 6) To conserve aquatic biodiversity and critical habitat; 7) To empower communities and make them resilient to natural and human induced impacts; 8) To enhance information and knowledge sharing, dissemination, collection and management; 9) To develop Intra-regional synergies in management of transboundary resources and transfer of technology 10) To strengthen intra and inter regional collaboration; and 11) To enhance research and innovation. In addition the Strategy contains specific objectives and actions to achieve them for inland fisheries, marine fisheries and aquaculture. The actions were chosen to also address the four streams of the BGI: i) capture fisheries; ii) aquaculture; iii) ecosystem services contributing to livelihoods; and iv) trade, markets, post-harvest and social support. The actions further embrace the principles of the Green Economy and will lead to Blue Production, Blue Communities and Blue Fora.

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