Lessons Learnt

on .

The Fish Gov project will take on board the following lessons learnt from several African countries, as detailed below:

Namibia and South Africa

The fisheries policies of Namibia and South Africa were among six policies from five countries world-wide short-listed for the 2012 Future Policy Award - an international award that celebrates effective and exemplary ocean and coastal policies. Namibia received the Silver Award on the basis of its Marine Resources Act 2000. The organizers recognized that Namibia successfully manages its marine resources and has instituted a more ecologically and economically-sustainable fishing industry by implementing a rights-based and scientific approach to fisheries management. Namibia inherited severely over-exploited and unregulated fisheries when it gained independence in 1990. The Marine Resources Act established strict monitoring and control systems and regulations addressing the key drivers of degradation of marine capture fisheries: by-catch, illegal fishing, overcapacity from subsidies and harmful fishing gear. The fishing industry has created new jobs and improved food security for Namibians. Most fish stocks are now stable, and fishing license fees and levies on catches contribute to the national economy


The Mauritanian fishery illustrates how legislative instruments can be used to manage fisheries successfully. The tax-based system is very effective in extracting resource rent. Taxes are set higher on fish products that were processed at sea and exported so as to encourage development of local onshore processing.


Senegalese fisheries are characterized by over-exploitation of demersal coastal resources and overcapacity. The fishermen have, however, instituted the individual quota system as well as a deterrence system to promote compliance. This innovation led to increased revenue for fisher-folks, decreased fishing time and fishing pressure.

Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria

Aquaculture development is impressive in Egypt's tilapia culture, in Ghana for cage culture for tilapia and in Nigeria for catfish. Egypt is the largest producer of about 1 million tons of fish from aquaculture and adopts practices for sustainable aquaculture development.

Solomon and other Pacific Islands

Development of community-based management plans and monitoring methods tailored to local conditions led to the adoption of the ecosystem approach to fisheries.

West African Regional Fisheries project, Institutional Support for Fisheries Management (ISFM), Sierra Leone and the ACP Fish II programme

These projects identified the following measures to be key in the sustainable management of fisheries in LMEs and reducing IUU: need for sound legal framework; institutional mechanism for coordination; transparency e.g. vessels registers; empowering fishing communities; training, capacity for prosecuting cases; the power of market access – EU's IUU regulation, stakeholder participation in fisheries management and decision making processes, participatory approach in policy and legal frameworks formulation for fisheries resources management; and needs assessment procedures in fisheries and priority areas of intervention.

African Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) projects and Strategic Partnership for Fisheries Investment Fund (SPFIF)

These projects highlighted the importance of regional and continental harmonization of legislation and policies in support of conservation, management and utilization of coastal and marine resources, the need for coordinated regional and continental development approaches and empowerment of communities in evaluation and management of resources in LMEs.

Reinforcing Veterinary Governance (Vet-Gov) in Africa and PANSPSO at AU-IBAR

The Vet- Gov project established collaborative arrangements with the RECs and posted experts to strengthen the human capacity of these institutions.

The Fish Gov project will draw on lessons in the process of establishing common positions, creating conductive and participatory change environment through evidence-based advocacy and knowledge creation and building institutional and individual capacity.

PANAPSO contributed immensely in developing science-based arguments for effective participation in standard settings organizations like the OIE and Codex Alimentarius. This strengthened capacity enabled African countries, with a common position, to revise or amend relevant sections or clauses in the reports of these organizations that were deemed suitable or appropriate in the interest of the continent.