The African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) in collaboration with the government of Kenya with support from the European Union organised an “Expert Consultative Workshop on Fisheries Resources Management Options and/or Approaches in African Context” from 20th to 22nd March 2017 in Mombasa, Kenya.
The specific objectives on the meeting were to: (i) Elaborate the concept and principles of various fisheries management options and tools and their appropriateness in the context of Africa fisheries, (ii) Share experiences and lessons learnt on the successes of implementing fisheries management options such as Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries, territorial use rights in fisheries or rights-based fisheries management, MPAs, co-management and other technical measures, (iii) Identify key constraints for effective implementation of fisheries management options on the continent, (iv) Develop a guideline on the fisheries management options in order to facilitate their application in African fisheries.
The meeting was attended by experts from African Union Member states including Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Tunisia. AU IBAR and FAO were also represented.
The opening ceremony was marked by statements by Dr. Mohamed Seisay on behalf of the Director of AU-IBAR, and Dr. Rebecca Metzner representing the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. The meeting was officially opened by Ms. Jane Njeri Kinya, Deputy Director of Fisheries at the State Department of Fisheries and Blue Economy, Kenya, representing the Hon Minister of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries of the Republic of Kenya.
The workshop was organised in four major sessions as follows:
- Background and objectives of the meeting by AU-IBAR;
- Experts’ experiences in implementing various fisheries management options namely:
- Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF);
- Community-based Marine Protected Area (MPA) ;
- Rights based fisheries management (RBFM).
- Countries experiences, lessons learnt and best practices from Member states namely Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Tunisia.
- Group work to formulate for each management tool or approach different mechanism for implementation (status of the implementation, opportunities, challenges, lessons learnt, actions for improvement and way forward).
Outcomes of the Workshop
- Awareness was created among member states on the concepts, principles and the processes of implementation for EAF, RBFM, Co-management, MPAs and Wealth Based Management.
- The participants assessed the status of implementation of each management tool or approach and identified key challenges, lessons learnt and proposed actions to enhance their implementation.
- The experts observed that the application of these management tools has largely been through donor support, and member states have not fully integrated the approaches within their fisheries management programmes.
- Experts noted that issues of capacity building, institutional arrangements, appropriate legal frameworks and financial mechanisms are critical for the successful implementation of these management approaches and tools.
- The experts noted that the wealth based approach has had very limited application in member states due to insufficient knowledge on the tool and methodology.
- The experts further noted that data required (biological, social and economic) for effective application of the management tools is still a major challenge.
Conclusion and Recommendations
- Participants commended AU-IBAR for successfully organizing the expert consultative workshop on fisheries resources management approaches and tools in the African context and recommend that:
- Capacity building should be strengthened and provided for the different stakeholders at each level of management and in communities, universities and centres of excellence;
- Universities, with fisheries science courses, should be encouraged to formulate tailor-made courses on these management tools.
- Funding mechanism should be established by member states to sustain effective application of the different management approaches and tools;
- Management approaches and tools used should be reviewed, assessed and documented;
- Experience sharing on the fisheries management approaches should be encouraged among AU member states;
- Appropriate guidelines on the management approaches - EAF, MPA, Co-management and RBFM - should be developed/piloted and existing cases documented for AU member states;
- Awareness needs to be created and capacity of member states be developed in the wealth based management approach
- AU member states should strongly consider availing adequate resources for data acquisition and management;
- AU member states should fully integrate and align management approaches/tools within their fisheries management programmes.
The participants thanked the Government of Kenya for hosting this important event and the enabling conducive atmosphere.
Closing statements were made by Dr. Mohamed Seisay on behalf of the Director of AU-IBAR and Ms. Jane Njeri Kinya, Deputy Director of Fisheries at the State Department of Fisheries and Blue Economy, Kenya, on behalf of the Hon Minister of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries of the Republic of Kenya