Africa to benefit from US$44.5m EU fisheries and aquaculture program

AFRICA – The European Union (EU) has injected US$44.5m to fund a five-year program, FISH4ACP aimed at developing a sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group States (ACP) in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

FISH4ACP is an innovative EU-funded programme devised with ACP and will work with 10 value chains in 10 different ACP countries.

The program to be implemented by FAO will invest in value chains to stimulate inclusive growth, bolster food security and minimise impacts on the marine environment.

In Africa, the programme will support both aquaculture and fisheries value chains of inland and marine fisheries.

This involves catfish, small pelagics, oyster, shrimp and tilapia value chains from Nigeria to Zimbabwe, and from Lake Tanganyika to São Tomé and Príncipe and the continent’s Atlantic shores.

Welcoming the initiative, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “The focus on all three aspects of sustainability – the economic, the environmental and the social – sets this programme apart.”

“It will enable us to strike a balance between production and protection, to contribute towards fair income distribution; to promote decent working conditions, sound fisheries management and social inclusiveness; and to champion sustainable aquaculture practices.”

FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said: “We welcome this new, comprehensive value chain approach to the development of fisheries and aquaculture that takes into account all players, at all stages – from net to plate.”

“This is an innovative approach that will boost economic returns and social equity, and reduce negative impacts on the marine environment.”

According to APO Group news report, capture fishery production in ACP countries nearly doubled from 4.6 million tonnes in 1990 to 8.5 million tonnes in 2016.

Aquaculture production in ACP countries jumped from 50000 tonnes in 1990 to 790000 in 2016, but still represents less than 1% of global production.

The EU is a key market for ACP fish products. In 2016, exports to the EU accounted for 50%, 15% and 50% of exports from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific respectively.

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