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ACP aquaculture initiatives set for share of €40 million EU funding

24 October 2019, at 9:28am

The EU has pledged to invest €40 million in a five-year project to boost the development of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states.

The agreement, which was signed at the Our Ocean conference in Oslo this week is part of the FISH4ACP programme. Funded by the EU, it has been devised with the ACP and will be implemented by FAO. Aquaculture production in the 79 ACP countries jumped from 50,000 tonnes in 1990 to 790,000 in 2016, but still represents less than 1 percent of global production. And the initiative will invest in value chains to stimulate inclusive growth, bolster food security and minimise impacts on the marine environment.

ACP's 79 nations account for less than 1 percent of global aquaculture production
ACP's 79 nations account for less than 1 percent of global aquaculture production

© Aquaculture Zimbabwe

Welcoming the initiative, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “The focus on all three aspects of sustainability – the economic, the environmental and the social – sets this programme apart. It will enable us to strike a balance between production and protection, to contribute towards fair income distribution; to promote decent working conditions, sound fisheries management and social inclusiveness; and to champion sustainable aquaculture practices.”

FAO director-general, Qu Dongyu said: “We welcome this new, comprehensive value chain approach to the development of fisheries and aquaculture that takes into account all players, at all stages – from net to plate. This is an innovative approach that will boost economic returns and social equity, and reduce negative impacts on the marine environment.”

“Within the ACP countries, there is a sense of urgency to boost our fisheries and aquaculture sectors because they greatly contribute to economic growth, decent jobs and food and nutrition security. We are happy to have our partners on board and launch this much-needed initiative, which will unlock the potential of fisheries and aquaculture in ACP regions,” said ACP secretary general, Dr Patrick Gomes.

FISH4ACP will work with 10 value chains in 10 different ACP countries, aiming to maximise their economic returns and social benefits, while minimising the detrimental effects on natural habitats and marine wildlife.

In Africa, the programme will support both aquaculture and fisheries value chains. They include inland and marine fisheries, involving catfish, small pelagics, oyster, shrimp and tilapia value chains from Nigeria to Zimbabwe, and from Lake Tanganyika to São Tomé and Príncipe and the continent’s Atlantic shores.

In the Caribbean, FISH4ACP will concentrate on stocks of mahi-mahi and seabob shrimp in the Dominican Republic and Guyana respectively; in the Pacific, it will focus on tuna fisheries around the Marshall Islands, a sector with high potential on both European and American markets.