Pan-African fish initiative may salvage sector’s $5b yearly loss
IF effectively managed and implemented, the new pan-African fish project would strengthen the continent’s potential for increased trade in fish, while addressing the yearly loss of $5 billion arising from mismanagement in the sector, experts have stated.
The initiative, ‘FishTrade for a Better Future’, a European Commission funded project implemented by WorldFish, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) will strengthen value chains and, with a focus on sustainability, give better access to intra-regional markets and subsequently improve food and nutritional security and income in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to a report on Policy framework and reform strategy for fisheries and aquaculture in Africa, the potential of the sector to contribute to poverty reduction and improved socio-economic benefits to populations have not been optimally exploited, coupled with estimated $5 billion loss by African countries yearly due to mismanagement in the sector.
The initiative, which was launched recently is expected to support adoption and implementation of appropriate policies, fish certification procedures, standards and regulations by key stakeholders in intra-regional trade.
In a statement made available on its website, the Director-General of WorldFish, Stephen Hall said, “Africa has the potential to develop its fisheries and aquaculture to play a much greater role in promoting food security, providing livelihoods and supporting economic growth”.
“Per capita consumption has fallen, despite Africa’s great abundance of aquatic resources. Fish trade will create the foundations for a more solid, productive and sustainable building-up of this great, continent-wide, resource,” Hall stated.
The coordinator of the Coalition for Fair Fisheries Agreement (CFFA) Beatrice Gorez earlier told newsmen that the official launch of the project would enhance the capacity of trade in fisheries in Nigeria and other African countries.
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