2ND Ministerial Fisheries meeting of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States
1.The second meeting of the ACP Ministers in charge of Fisheries was held in Mahé (Seychelles) from 22nd to 25th November 2010. 2.It afforded the Ministers the opportunity to reflect on the challenges facing ACP States in this critical area and to agree on concrete measures intended to ensure the sustainability of aquatic resources with a view to their development. 3.It is against this backdrop that Ministers agreed to put in place a 5-year strategic plan of action which will include aquaculture and mariculture. This will require collaboration with several cooperation partners and the appropriate financial resources for its operationalisation. 4.Given the negative impact of climate change on fisheries, Ministers called specifically on the international community to agree, during COP16 of the UNFCCC, an urgent package of immediate and concrete actions to assist ACP States, particularly those most vulnerable to climate change crises. 5. Considering the persistence of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, ACP Ministers urged the international community to provide financial and technical support – through specific programmes- for the efforts made at the national and regional levels to prevent, counteract and eradicate IUU fishing. 6.In view of the above, they expressed commitment to a more pro-active approach for the preservation of the aquatic biodiversity and the economic value of the fisheries sector. In this regard, Ministers agreed to devise fisheries management plans and to initiate the use of assessment tools to evaluate the efficiency of fishing fleets (ACP and foreign). It was also stated that policy coherence and consistency was necessary across sub-regional and regional organisations. To achieve this, support must be provided for regional economic integration organisations, as well as sub-regional fisheries organisations. 7.International cooperation needs to be strengthened to combat piracy and improve maritime security; appropriate resources must therefore be given to the worst affected ACP States and regions as a matter of priority. 8.Ministers agreed that the ACP Secretariat should seek technical assistance and financial support from the European Union and other development partners to strengthen their value chain frameworks, as well as national health and food safety agencies, so as to conform to steadily increasing sanitary requirements. 9.Ministers also agreed that the European Union should provide ACP States with accompanying measures for their fishery sectors, given the decreasing margin of preferences for fishery products that will be further reduced by the World Trade Organisation’s Non Agricultural Market Access modalities. 10.At the end of their deliberations, Ministers thanked the cooperation partners and expressed their sincere gratitude to the Government and the people of the Seychelles for the warm welcome and the excellent facilities provided, which led to the successful outcome of the second ministerial meeting.