Apia, 11 September 2019: The €40 million value chain programme, the first specific action to be implemented under the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Strategic Plan for Fisheries and Aquaculture will be launched during the 6th Meeting of African, Caribbean and Pacific Ministers in charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture which will be held at the TATTE Convention Centre in Apia, Samoa from 12-13 September 2019.
The Programme, titled “FISH4ACP Sustainable Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture Value Chains in ACP countries” is aligned to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and seeks to boost productivity and competitiveness of fisheries and aquaculture value chains. It is funded through the European Development Fund (EDF), which is co-managed by the ACP and the European Commission.
The FISH4ACP Programme was developed following the adoption of the ACP Blue Growth Initiative launched during the 5th Ministerial Meeting in The Bahamas in 2017, where ministers pledged their commitment to the ACP Strategic Plan of Action, which was conceived to help countries to coordinate and cooperate on joint actions aimed at increasing the contribution of fisheries and aquaculture to social and economic development in ACP countries. They highlighted the need for stronger partnerships, more funding opportunities, as well as South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) to catalyse progress.
The Ministerial meeting was preceded by a Meeting of Senior Officials from 10-11 September. The 6th Ministerial Meeting aims to provide an opportunity to consider a range of policy options for the sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture in ACP Countries. The Ministers will review the implementation of earlier decisions and make decisions to give momentum to the priority themes of the meeting: Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, small scale fisheries for food security and livelihoods, post-harvest loss reduction, enhanced value addition and market access, climate change and fisheries, inland fisheries for economic transformation, sustainable blue growth, aquaculture development and multilateral ocean governance agreements.
The meeting is open to ACP ministers responsible for fisheries and aquaculture as well as senior-level fisheries officials from the ACP states who are involved in policy development and implementation. Invited representatives of ACP regional fisheries bodies and representatives from multilateral institutions will also be present.
The Fisheries and Aquaculture sector plays a crucial role to provide much-needed employment and export revenues for many ACP Member States. As much as US$5.3 billion worth of fish exports from at least 65 ACP countries are annually traded globally. The Sector also plays an irreplaceable role in the food and nutritional security and the lifeline of many dependent communities particularly from ACP Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Fish also continues to be one of the most-traded food commodities with more than 60 of the ACP States engaged in the export of fishery and aquaculture products. For some ACP States, fishery exports account for half the total value of their traded commodities.
The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) is an organization created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. The ACP Group’s main goals centre around the sustainable development of its Member-States and their gradual integration into the global economy; coordination of the activities of the ACP Group in the framework of the implementation of the ACP-EC Partnership Agreements; consolidation of unity and solidarity among ACP states and establishing and consolidating peace and stability in a free and democratic society. For more information, visit our website at: www.acp.int.
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