ACP Fisheries Ministers adopt roadmap to boost ACP economies through sustainable fisheries & aquaculture management
Brussels, 24 July 2015: The 4th meeting of ACP Ministers in charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture was held at ACP House in Brussels (Belgium), from 22 to 23 July 2015, preceded by a meeting of senior fisheries officials on 20 and 21 July.
It provided an opportunity for the Ministers to take stock of progress made in implementing the Strategic Action Plan for Fisheries and Aquaculture, which was adopted in Nadi, Fiji in 2012, and to agree on the way forward to ensure the sustainability of aquatic resources with a view to wealth creation and development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. More than 60 ACP Member States are engaged in the export of fish and aquaculture products to regional and international markets, although these countries provide only 3% share in value of the global fisheries trade, worth USD 150 billion per year.
At the conclusion of their meeting, the Ministers adopted a roadmap for the implementation of the strategic action plan, calling for mobilisation of adequate financial resources and close collaboration with partner institutions which provide support to ACP fisheries sector, among them the EU, FAO, IFAD, UNIDO and the World Bank, to ensure effective implementation.
Given the negative impact of climate change on the fisheries sector, the Ministers called specifically on the international community to agree to outline concrete, ambitious actions to reduce the effects of climate change during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is scheduled to take place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015.
In light of the persistence of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and piracy, the ACP Ministers also urged the international community to cooperate more closely with ACP countries and to provide financial and technical support for the efforts made at the national and regional level, to curb and eradicate these two extremely serious problems.
The Ministers recommended developing aquaculture, the economic development of the fisheries sector as a means for creating decent jobs, especially for youth and women, as well as the preservation of aquatic biodiversity. They agreed to implement plans for the development of aquaculture and appropriate fisheries management measures in compliance with international agreements.
The Ministers also stressed the need for coherence and appropriate policies among regional economic integration organisations and regional fisheries organisations to achieve this aim.
The Ministers directed the ACP Secretariat to seek technical assistance and financial support from development partners, specifically the European Union, to strengthen ACP fisheries sectors and their national health and food security agencies to enable them to comply with increasingly stringent health requirements.
The Ministers also agreed that the European Union should provide support to the ACP fisheries and aquaculture sector, through appropriate measures, to cope with the erosion of preferential tariffs for ACP fish exports to EU markets, and to support the ACP Position on Fisheries subsidies negotiations in the WTO negotiations.
(Pictured: Namibia's Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Hon. Bernhard Esau (left) chaired the 4th Meeting of ACP Ministers of Fisheries and Namibia's Brussels-based Ambassador H.E. Hanno Rumpf (right) chaired the Senior Officials meeting.)
For more information, please contact ACP Press Officer Josephine Latu-Sanft, ACP Secretariat. Tel +32 2 7430617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.