Source & Author: Jamaica Observer
Fisheries and Aquaculture ministers from the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries have agreed on measures aimed at accelerating the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing as well as address the issue of fisheries subsidies at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
A statement issued at the end of the fifth ACP meeting of ministers in charge of fisheries and aquaculture, held earlier this week, also indicated that the ministers had agreed on measure to strengthen aquaculture production, promote effective fisheries management and support small scale fisheries.
The statement noted that the meeting ended with delegates agreeing to ‘a renewed commitment to developing the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in their countries, as well as unlocking the potential of the ‘blue economy’ through a new €40 million (one Euro=US$1.29 cents) “ACP Blue Growth Initiative”.
The statement noted that the meeting was attended by more than 150 delegates from at least 60 fish-exporting countries and regions, who gathered to strategise on how to enhance the role of fisheries and aquaculture in their national socio-economic development.
“The ACP Group remains determined to play a catalytic role to enhance the sustainable flow of benefits from the fisheries and aquaculture sectors for development of our countries. To this end, it is necessary to enhance capacity building activities, deepen our policy analysis and continuously explore ways to secure funding from our partners for this purpose,” ACP Secretary General Dr Patrick Gomes, said reaffirming the important role of the sector in ensuring food and nutrition security, livelihoods, and revenues for ACP states.
The statement noted that in an effort to stimulate development of the ‘blue economy’, ministers agreed to allocate €40 million from the Intra-ACP envelope of the European Development Fund (EDF) to the ACP Blue Growth Initiative.