Thursday, June 12, 2008

87th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers adopts Resolution on Fisheries

The ACP Council of Ministers adopted a resolution on fisheries during its 87th session, which was taking place recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 8th – 11th June 2008.

Among other things, the Resolution which was introduced to the Council by Seychelles, calls for a first meeting of the ACP ministers responsible for fisheries to be convened not later than in the first quarter of the year 2009, with the primary objective of establishing a ministerial mechanism for ACP coordination and cooperation on fisheries issues.

The proposal for the establishment of such an ACP ministerial mechanism was initiated by Seychelles following an ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) fact-finding mission to the country in April 2008. (An article on the said JPA fact-finding mission was posted on this blog on 5th June 2008.)

The ACP Press Statement on the subject is reproduced below (this can also be accessed from the ACP official website - to go to it click here)

ACP PRESS STATEMENT 5 - ACP adopts resolution on establishing a Ministerial Mechanism for fisheries

June 11 2008

The African, Caribbean and Pacific 87th Council of Ministers adopted a resolution today (June 11), which calls for responsible fishing, and implementation of effective management, conversation and control practices in ACP States as well as the establishment of a Ministerial Mechanism for fisheries, no later than the first quarter of 2009.

The resolution, which was tabled by Seychelles, had the backing of the ACP Group, especially those who have stake in fisheries.
Delivering the resolution on behalf of his minister, Seychelles’ Ambassador to Brussels, His Excellency Mr. Barry Faure, said: “The resolution comes at an opportune time when we have reached a critical point in our paths for sustained social development and economic growth.”

He said it is a known factor that the fisheries sector, whether wild or marine and inland fisheries, plays a significant role in the economic and social development of major – not only coastal and island ACP countries, but also landlocked.
Mr Faure noted that fisheries sector contributes considerably to the social-economic development of the concerned ACP countries by providing food security and cheap source of protein.

“This sector constitutes a prominent economic pillar for many of these countries, which is attested by its important contribution to total income, foreign exchange earnings and employment,” Mr Faure said.
The Ambassador went on to say that for some small island countries like Seychelles, fish resources are their only natural resources and can be exploited economically in a significant manner.

However, he said, the rate of renewability is greatly influenced by human actions.
“This very fact requires us to be positive in our actions towards how we exploit our valuable fishery resources if we intend to reach an optimal outcome; an outcome where the yields spread over a long term horizon,” he said.
And he cautions that the reality is that fisheries is unattainable if “we fail to engage in, promote and require for responsible fishing, and implement effective management, conservation and control practices.”

ACP Ministers and senior officials who spoke on the motion had given their backing to the resolution.
Seychelles has also offered to host the first meeting of ACP ministers in charge of fisheries.

Details contact:
Robert Iroga
Attaché de Presse
African, Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat
451 Avenue Georges Henri
1200 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 743 0617
GSM: + 25 (0) 912 2008 08 (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
Fax : +32 2 735 55 73

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