CAOPA Calls for National Action Plans for Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries

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Gaoussou Gueye, president of the African Confederation of Artisanal Fisheries Professional Organizations (CAOPA) has urged the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to support the establishment of National Action Plans for Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries to enable small-scale fishing communities identify their own needs. Gueye made the proposal during his address to the plenary of the 33rd session of the Committee on Fisheries in Rome on 11 July 2018.

Gueye, who lauded the proclamation of 2022 as the international Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture by the United Nations General Assembly, noted that CAOPA has adopted a two- pronged approach to the enthronement of national action plan for small-scale fisheries.

First, he explained that CAOPA facilitates consultation among professionals to set up a single small-scale fisheries organization at national level. “This national organization must be composed of the men and women who depend on small-scale fisheries for their livelihoods. Such organization must operate in an independent, democratic and transparent manner, and consider equal representation of women, as women are present at all stages of the small-scale fisheries value chain in Africa,” Gueye said.

Secondly, he emphasised that CAOPA is committed to promoting the national action plans for sustainable small-scale fisheries through a transparent, and gender sensitive manner.  Gueye explained that CAOPA seeks to achieve this plan through dual approaches including at the national and pan-African levels.

At the pan-African level, CAOPA is working within the framework of the African Union’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Policies Reform Strategy in Africa through the participation of Non-State Actors Platform while at the country level; CAOPA has in collaboration with the FAO, held national workshops Guinea, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire in 2018.

“In these three countries, the government is setting up a committee for the development of a National Action Plan for sustainable small-scale fisheries, which will enable professionals to identify their own needs. A platform bringing together the different Ministries involved – fisheries, environment, education, health, etc. – has been set up, so that the best answers to the needs expressed are provided,” Gueye added.

By Emeka Umejei

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