The Future of ACP-EU Fisheries Relations: Towards more Sustainability and Improved Social and Economic Well Being for ACP Coastal Communities
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Gorez, Beatrice. 2006. The Future of ACP-EU Fisheries Relations: Towards more Sustainability and Improved Social and Economic Well Being for ACP Coastal Communities. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/63634
This publication reviews the main approaches of the players to issues at the top of the ACP-EU fisheries relations agenda...
Foreword Fishing is a vital source of food, jobs and income that contributes to food security and poverty reduction in many African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) coastal states. But most of these countries, especially Senegal, Mauritania and Namibia, rely heavily on a small number of exported species. Even so, the fisheries sector provides ACP countries with real longer-term economic opportunities because the EU imports 60% of the fish consumed in its home market. The heavy toll taken of stocks and ecosystems by over-exploitation of fishery resources is undermining all sustainable development efforts in regions like West Africa. This makes proper resource management and effective control systems vital to avoid over-fishing and the collapse of fish stocks, so that ACP countries can benefit significantly from this sector of the economy. Fisheries relations between the ACP States and the EU are governed by a range of instruments, especially ACP national fisheries policies, the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, development cooperation instruments and the bilateral fisheries agreements entered into by the EU with individual ACP States. Bilateral agreements give European fishing fleets greater access to fishery resources in exchange for the payment of financial compensation, which is a major source of income for ACP States. These agreements introduce a series of problems in the picture with regard to: (i) sustainable exploitation of marine resources and environmental protection, (ii) protection for artisanal fishing communities, maximizing the benefits of fishing through value-enhancement, and (iv) monitoring systems. These issues of ACP-EU fisheries relations are also addressed in Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) negotiated by ACP countries with the EU. The revision of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) to achieve more sustainable fishing and greater protection of the marine environment should deliver a net gain to ACP fishers. Against this background, CTA works with the ACP Secretariat, European Commission and Commonwealth Secretariat to give ongoing support to ACP countries, not least by providing a forum for ACP and EU experts to exchange information. Over 350 experts and policymakers from ACP and EU Ministries of Trade and Fisheries, along with representatives of the Brussels-based ACP Group, the European Commission, the private sector, NGOs, fisheries associations, international organisations, EU development cooperation agencies and research bodies took part in two technical seminars held in Brussels in April 2003 and December 2004, followed up by an electronic consultation to further explore the two big issues of market access and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). This publication reviews the main approaches of these players to issues at the top of the ACP-EU fisheries relations agenda. Improving access to information The recommendations highlight the key role of information and communication technologies (ICT). CTA provides services and products that improve access to information for agricultural and rural development in ACP countries. For example, CTA works together with key partners in the fisheries sector to facilitate in situ or electronic discussion fora, as well as capacity-building and training programmes, and funding participation by ACP experts to present the ACP case in international meetings. CTA also provides information portals (websites) on the fisheries sector - “Agritrade”, “Knowledge for Development”, as well as “ICT Update”, a newsletter specifically on ICT applications in the fisheries sector. For those without Internet access, CTA continues to support a range of other media like rural radio, mobile phones, the print media like the magazine Spore/Esporo, and a wide range of publications, many focused on the fisheries sector. It has also very recently launched a new series of easily-reproducible “how-to” guides providing technical information in easy-to-understand terms, offering yet another opportunity to engage with fishing and fishers. Growing demand from our ACP partners and the importance of the fisheries sector prompts me to reaffirm the commitment of CTA and its partners to further developing these services, providing platforms through which to leverage empirical knowledge, and facilitating the exchange of expertise and experiences. I should also like to take this opportunity to thank all our partners and the ACP and EU authors who so kindly undertook to formulate and finalize the presentation of this wealth of experiences. I hope you will find it instructive reading. Dr. Hansjörg Neun Director, CTA