Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2017
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Friday, 22 September 2017

A major gathering of ministers and senior government officials from Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands will take place in the Bahamas on 18-21 September. With up to USD 5.3 billion worth of fish exports entering the international market each year from these regions, the meeting seeks to reinforce shared commitments to improve governance and boost development of fisheries and aquaculture resources. The Prime Minister of the Bahamas Dr. The Hon. Hubert A. Minnis is scheduled to open the two-day 5th Meeting of ACP Ministers in charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture on 20 September, preceded by the Meeting of Senior Fisheries Officials on 18-19 September. The event is especially important for the ACP Group of States, whose 79 member states include more than 60 that export fisheries products, both from maritime and inland fisheries and from aquaculture.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy broke European Union law by authorizing vessels to fish in the territorial waters off Gambia and Equatorial Guinea, according to the findings of conservation group Oceana published on Tuesday. Fishing vessels from Europe and Asia are drawn to West Africa, particularly for high-value tuna. Many ships operate legally but West African states are vulnerable to illegal fishing because of corruption and a lack of maritime policing capacity. Using data from their onboard tracking devices, Oceana found that 19 vessels illegally spent over 31,000 hours in Gambia and Equatorial Guinea’s exclusive economic zones - waters which extend 200 nautical miles from the coast - from April 2012 to August 2015.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The flowery legalese of any Fishing Partnership Agreement always appears to secure the sustainability of the domestic fisheries involved but really this economic document is Brussels’ strategy for plundering the abundant undersea resources of Africa’s maritime states. From Sao Tomé to Sierra Leone, evidence abounds that the EU merely pays lip service to its pledges for global development. George Francis, 63, is a rugged fisherman and harbour master of Lumley Wharf in Freetown, the hilly capital of Sierra Leone. He’s been in the fishing business since the mid-60s shortly after his country gained independence from the United Kingdom. He has seen better days in the distant past. Nowadays, life is very hard and two of his daughters now live in Nigeria from where they send him money, regularly. He says his misery began some twenty years ago when big industrial trawlers started prowling the shores of his seaside community. Outgunned by bigger boats, George is unable to catch enough fish for himself. He generally goes for small fishes like herring, but on the day these reporters spoke to him, he had caught just three little ones. His fellow fishermen were not so lucky. Several admitted to catching one or even none!It was 10 past 6 in the evening. “These trawlers are supposed to fish about 200 miles away from the shore,” Francis laments. “But they come into the coast at night and the government is aware of these incursions.”

Wednesday, 06 September 2017

When Trinidad and Tobago received a yellow card from the European Union last year for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the country's government was motivated to take steps to remedy one of the problems plaguing the twin island nation’s fishing industry for decades. However, the yellow card served to highlight systemic problems with the management of Trinidad and Tobago's fisheries that has led to important fish stocks being overexploited or fully exploited. The overexploitation or full exploitation of important fisheries has meant that local fishermen “have to go farther and farther to catch fewer and fewer fish,” said Terrence Beddoe, president of the NGO Fishermen and Friends of the Sea of Trinidad and Tobago (FFOS).

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Rainforest Seafoods, a Caribbean seafood exporter with headquarters in Jamaica, began exporting conch and spiny lobster caught in Jamaica's water to the European Union and the United Arab Emirates at the start of 2017. It also began exporting lobster to China and the United States last December, according to a news release carried on the company's website. The company's CEO, Brian Jardim, said in a company-issued release that “having established the seafood chain as a major supplier to the Caribbean, Rainforest is now focused on extending its reach to other global markets.”

Monday, 21 August 2017

The European long-distance fleet, grouped in Europêche, has expressed the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of DG Mare, Karmenu Vella, the importance of fisheries agreements with third countries for this fleet and has requested diplomatic support at the highest level to renew the agreement with Guinea-Bissau on fair terms. To renew the agreement with Guinea-Bissau, which ends on November 23, and after the failure of the fourth round of negotiations, Europêche considers it necessary to make the president of the country, José Mario Vaz, understand that its demands are disproportionate and that the renewal would imply a loss for both parties.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Solomon Islands fish exporters will get a boost under a new project supported and led by the Standards and Trade Development Facility and the Food and Agriculture Organisation or FAO. The FAO said the new fish project will give Solomon Islands fish exporters an added access to the European market and they will stand to benefit from the global partnership on safe trade. The FAO will lead the project which runs until May 2020 with a total budget of over $US500,000.

Monday, 24 July 2017

The European Union says it will provide $ 17 million to countries in the West African sub-region to enhance fisheries and maritime activities in the region. The programme, covering six years would enable industry operators to organize and cooperate on fisheries management. The European Union Representative, Stephania Marone, disclosed this in Abuja, at a workshop on Regional Policy Dialogue for the Development of ECOWAS Fisheries and Aquaculture. She said that security in the the region will be maintained as the fishery sector is strategic to regional economic stability. The EU assistance could lead to increased fish production and preservation.

Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries will benefit from the 50 million-euro European Union (EU) fund set up to ensure sustainable fisheries development and marine security, an EU official says. Mrs Stefania Marrone, Head of Regional Cooperation Section in the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday. Marrone spoke on the sidelines of the meeting on “Regional Policy Process for the Development of ECOWAS Fisheries and Aquaculture Regional Policy and Strategy Frame Work of ECOWAP’’. She said that the programme would be implemented in various West African countries within a six-year period

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Countries from the Indian Ocean Islands and East Africa have come together to develop strategies to tackle illegal fishing and increase accountability in fisheries practices. For two days, representatives from the fishing industry, civil society, governments and fishing administrations from Seychelles, Mauritius, Comoros, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique, met on Mahe Island, Seychelles, to discuss the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI), a global initiative to tackle illegal fishing. African countries are particularly vulnerable to overfishing and depletion of fish stock due to opaque and unregulated fishing practices by both foreign companies as well as local communities. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the fisheries sector in Africa employs more than 12 million people. However, the depletion of fish stock in Africa is a major push factor in the migration of young people to Europe and elsewhere.

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