Monday, March 14, 2016


Islamic Republic of The Gambia: At Tanji Fishing site

Africa can leverage its rich marine and fresh water resource endowments and maximize sustainable and inclusive growth by investing in improved management systems and appropriate infrastructure. 

By 2030, global fish demand, driven by growing population and income, is expected to rise by 40 million tons, and to consistently continue growing over the coming decades. 

As described in the Policy Framework and Reform Strategies for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa prepared in May 2014 by the African Union NEPAD, there is a strong opportunity for Africa to play a crucial role in the sector. This will be done in two ways; through
·         Capture fisheries with improved management systems and chanced value chains; and
·         Investments in sustainable aquaculture that would enable to meet regional and global shortfalls in food fish supply, and capitalize on the expected higher seafood prices.

Fisheries already play a significant social and nutritional role in Africa:
The sector represents a key social safety net, contributes to food and nutrition security, and provides jobs, in particular for rural coastal populations, which are among the poorest and most vulnerable. On average, fish and fish products account for 18% of animal protein intake by African consumers, and the sector provides employment to over 12 million people (58% in the fishing and 42% in the processing sector).
 Men, 59% of the processing work is done by women. Although systematic estimates are not available employment multiplier effects are remarkable; for example for every fishermen, 1.04 additional onshore- job is created  in Mauritania, while this ratio reaches 3.15 in guinea, illustrating  the potential for further job creation through value chain development.

Currently, fisheries and aquaculture directly contribute $24 billion to the African economy, representing 1.3% of the total African GDP in 2011:
GDP figures, however, under- represent the contribution of fisheries. First because GDP only captures the sector’s contribution at the production level, not the multiplier effects on the economy and the contribution from foreign vessels, activities which can be significant. In 2009, e.g. fisheries direct contribution to Seychelles, GDP was estimated at 0.7% while if multitier effects are taken into account. This contribution would raise to at least 7.9% second, an increase in GDP could be obtained by augmenting fishing activities which can result in the long term in decreased resource productivity, and subsequently the sector GDP or in employment should be complemented by indicators illustrating the sustainability, such as the state of fish stocks, long- term profitability, revenue distribution, and good governance.

Over the past decades, Africa’s capture fisheries’ production has grown rapidly: 
To maintain the sector’s productivity, it is crucial to reinforce its governance and management. Simply put, capture in Africa face the familiar problem of managing a common property and renewable resource-too many boats and too many fishers chasing too few fish. The consequence is biological   degradation of fish resources (fig.1) and substantial economic loss.  Globally, capture fisheries’ catches  stagnate at about  93 million tons  per  year(fig.2),  and gains in fishing  production  and  economic  benefits  are  only  expected  through  improved   management  and  governance.  At   the  global  level,  the  economic  loss  from  poor  fisheries   governance  and    management   amounts  to  $50-100  billion  each  year.  As  Africa   fisheries  production   continues  to  increase,  attention  is  needed   to   avoid  overexploitation,   which   in    turn  would   decrease   productivity    and   socio- economic  benefits    as   observed   elsewhere   in   the   world.

Currently Africa represents a small share of the global fisheries and aquaculture sector, producing just above 9 million tons annually, or 5% of global production:
It suffers from supply deficit, and depends on imports. Due to the fast increase in population and per- capital income, demand for fish and seafood in the region is expected to increase by 30% by 2030. If no action is taken, the gap will likely be filled by imports, causing a toll on foreign exchange. The ratio of import fish consumption in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to rise from 4% in 2000 to nearly 34% in 2030. Again, if no action is taken, per- capital fish consumption in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to decline at an annual rate of 1 percent or 5.6 kilograms by 2030, impacting food security and nutrition.  

Aquaculture is the fastest growing food- producing sector that could help meet increasing demand and future supply gap:
Between 1990 and 2011, the global aquaculture production grew at an annual average rate of 7.8% -compared to 0.9% for beef, 2.1% for pork, 4.5% for poultry, and 1.4 % for cereals.  Aquaculture production is expected to increase from 57.8 million tons in 2010 to 93.6 million tons in 2030, and therefore represents a key instrument to meet the fish supply gap. In the 2000- 2012 period, African aquaculture was among the fastest growing at global level (11.7% per year on average). If adequate conditions are created, the industry could have the potential to catch up on the development delays o served in previous decades.  

Sustainable  aquaculture  and  improved  fisheries management    and   
governance  could  make    the  sector  become     a  highly  profitable  economic   enterprise ,   able   to    support   the   economic   and  social   development     of    Africa:   
 With   rising   global   demand   for   seafood, the   potential   profits   in this   sector   will   be  high  over   the  next    few  decades,  and  aquaculture  will  play  an  important  role  in  meeting    the  escalating  global  and  regional  demand.  This clearly opens a   wide window of opportunity    for Africa to take.  The  world  bank   estimates  that improved   fisheries   governance  and  resource  management  could   generate  at   least   an   additional  $2-4  billion  per  year   in  sustainable   benefits.  Additional   multiplier brought value   chain development.  A sustainable and inclusive development of the fisheries sector requires good governance, transparency, and accountability in the form of reliable contracts and access allocation. Together these will support shared prosperity by avoiding rent- seeking, transfer- pricing practices, corruption and illegal fishing.

Africa is now at a crossroads to determine the future of its fisheries and aquaculture sector:
Under a business as usual scenario, the fisheries sector would continue to generate low profits or losses. This undermines its macroeconomic contribution, ever if it remains an important source of job creation and improved livelihoods. Another future is possible for the sector. One where under countries and regional leadership, growth and job creation would spur from greater fish resources management, fisheries value chain development, better governance adequate benefit sharing, investments in suitable infrastructure and sustainable aquaculture.

The World Bank supports African nations in their commitment to invest in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, as they represent crucial means to promote inclusive growth and end extreme poverty:
The West Africa Regional Fisheries Program (WARFP), covering coastal West Africa from Mauritania to Ghana, has invested $158 million over the past six years with an additional$70 million in the pipeline. The south west Indian Ocean fisheries governance and shared growth program (SWIOFISH), covering east Africa and neighbouring island countries, will start with a first investment of $91 million and has $95 million in the pipeline

Other programs such as the Global Program on Fisheries (PROFISH), a multi- donor trust fund, and readiness facility under planning, also provide resources for project development and implementation, as well as knowledge creation in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. The World Bank remains eager to further support countries agenda to develop sustainable and inclusive fisheries and seafood value chains.

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