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West Africa: commercial fishery stocks, over-exploited

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Friday, 02 August 2013

West Africa: commercial fishery stocks, over-exploited

Most of the commercial fishery stocks are nearly over-exploited in the west African region, the representatives of the 15 Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) at the 10th session of the ACP-EU regional Joint Parliamentary Assembly - held in Abuja (Nigeria) on 17-19 July – concluded.
Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, poor statistics on stocks, inefficiencies in sanitary controls, lack of cooperation and coordination, as well as security threats – were some of the causes identified for the current situation in the region.
Yet, opportunities for the fisheries industries in west Africa might arise from the considerable biodiversity of its waters, and the region’s proximity to European markets. For appropriately using these opportunities, special attention should be played to increasing the storage capacities, the modernization of aging fleet, and the enhancement of maritime security. Also, inland fisheries should be considered as a priority for the food security policy.

Concerning the point of maritime security, special concern was given to the extent of terrorism, piracy and drug trafficking in the region, and in Nigeria in particular.  To address this problem, given the transnational nature of terrorism threats, ECOWAS members called for a stronger collaboration in the regional, and with international partners.

On 17-19 July, the West African region of the ACP Group hosted the 10th session of the ACP-EU regional Joint Parliamentary Assembly, bringing together parliamentarians from the 15 ECOWAS states and counterparts from the European Parliament to discuss key trade and development issues faced by the region. Dialogue focused on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), energy resources and development, climate change, youth unemployment, fishing industry development, terrorism and piracy, and women’s empowerment.

Source: ACP