A key report on a fisheries and aquaculture development programme implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has highlighted significant potential to boost these sectors in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Tanzania, Guyana and the Marshall Islands. According to the FAO document, the intent of the programme is to make these nations more self-sufficient, create jobs and preserve biological stock levels.
The countries listed are the first five of 12 African, Caribbean and Pacific states analyzed by the global fish value chain development programme called: FISH4ACP. Implemented by FAO, this initiative of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) focuses on making fisheries and aquaculture value chains more productive and sustainable, with an emphasis on supporting women given their crucial role in fish value chains – the whole process of adding value to the product.
“This initiative marks an important step towards a blue transformation of fisheries and aquaculture in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, benefitting not just fishers and their communities but ensuring that growth goes hand in hand with environmental sustainability and social inclusiveness,” said FAO’s Gilles Van De Walle, Chief Technical Adviser, FISH4ACP.
The official noted that FISH4ACP is being implemented with €47 million in funding from the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The Chief Adviser also stated that the publication of the first five reports provides a baseline for supporting the countries in strengthening their fish value chains, increasing self-sufficiency in fish production, creating local jobs and maintaining sustainable stock levels.
With respect to findings on Guyana, the report highlights the need to tackle declining catches of a variety of prawns, known as seabob while promoting artisanal fisheries, particularly strengthening the position of women. The report states that key opportunities include strong demand from the US and European markets for more high-value seabob if biological stock issues can be addressed and bigger shrimps can be caught; and strong domestic demand for fresh seabob that can be sold to restaurants and supermarkets.
Guyana Standard understands that the FISH4ACP value chain analysis is based on 5,200 interviewees, with more than 100 focus groups and 50 stakeholder workshops organised to validate findings.
The five value chain assessment reports published (Côte d’Ivoire, Guyana, Marshall Islands, Senegal, Tanzania) helped to field test FAO’s value chain analysis method, which will be published in the coming months.
It should be noted that the FAO’s work in fisheries and aquaculture promotes the effective management of aquatic living resources and the development of capacities to ensure equitable outcomes for all. It is also geared towards bringing about a “Blue Transformation”, a vision committed to building sustainability and resilience.
Much of FISH4ACP’s work addresses the needs of artisanal fishers, fish farmers and fish workers. Their economic contributions has been celebrated through the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA), which draws to a close on March 31, 2023.