A consultative meeting of regional fisheries bodies (RFBs) will take place in Cotonou, Benin, on 22-24 April, 2015 to validate the terms of reference and rules of procedure for formation of a Continental Platform for RFBs in Africa. It will also discuss the anchorage of RFBs to Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the results of RFB institutional assessments carried out by AU-IBAR. This meeting follows another consultative meeting of RFBs held in Accra, Ghana in July 2014.
The meeting comes against a background of lack of or weak institutional cooperation in regional fisheries management, leading to often negative impacts on coherent regional fisheries policy development as well as implementation of vital regional fisheries programmes. Some of these effects are manifested in weak intra-regional fish trade, inadequate political agenda for regional actions such as combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, management of shared resources, regional accords for fisheries management as well as poor capacity in negotiating fisheries access agreements, ratification and domestication of regional, continental and international instruments.
The meeting objectives are to:
- Review and validate the RFBs institutional assessment reports and propose a roadmap for implementation of the recommendations
- Validate the Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedures for the Continental Platform for RFBs for establishment of the platform
- Agree on a roadmap for operationalizing the Platform
- Review for adoption, as a template for replication, the draft legal text for anchorage of RECs and RFBs.
The participants of the regional consultative meeting will include RECs, RFBs, Water Basin Commissions (WBC), regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) and other fisheries-related regional institutions.