The Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) is participating in the regional workshop on Fisheries Resources Access Agreements for Atlantic Coastal States, organized by the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation Among African States Bordering The Atlantic Ocean (ATLAFCO) from 25 to 26 October 2023, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
The meeting is being organized to assess the fisheries access agreements in terms of compliance with sustainability and equity of the different types of fishing agreements by African coastal States. The workshop will explore the means likely to guarantee that these agreements materially contribute to the preservation of marine resources and the prosperity of local populations, while ensuring equitable distribution of their benefits for all parties concerned.
Coastal States have used fisheries access agreements to regulate access to fisheries resources in their territorial waters to tackle the degradation of marine ecosystems, and to curb human activities which have an adverse impact on marine biodiversity. The added consequence is that the livelihoods of populations dependent on those fisheries are threatened.
The regional meeting will highlight the different types of fishing agreements (bilateral, regional and with private entities) and analyse the benefits and shortcomings of each type.
The assessment of compliance with sustainability objectives will focus on criteria such as the quantity of catches allowed, conservation measures for endangered species, to examine whether these agreements promote the development of responsible fishing practices. Equity will be another key aspect of this evaluation to see whether these fishing agreements consider the rights and needs of local populations, granting them equitable access to marine resources and guaranteeing.