Stakeholders have canvassed increased government’s support to improve fisheries and aquaculture
By Samuel Adesanya
This was the plea at the Validation Workshop on Review of National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policies for Coherence/Alignment, with the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy (PFRS) for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa.
It held at the Federal Department of Fisheries, Lagos.
The forum also urged the government to improve fisheries’ management systems, infrastructure, value chain investments and encourage private sector investment to increase the availability and quality of sea fish. It also supports reforms in fisheries policies and regulations.
Speaking during the forum, National Consultant African Union Inter Bureau of Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), Foluke Omotayo Areola, said the fisheries sector is a major driver for growth and has potential for sustainable and higher production.
The essence of convening the review workshop, according to her, was to ensure that the national fisheries and aquaculture policies and strategies of African member states are coherent or aligned with the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy (PFRS) for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa, and other relevant international instruments. Other specific objectives and activities that have been carried out, she added, included, making Nigeria Fisheries Policy efficient in managing and conserving the sector’s resources to the benefit of the people.
The forum, she noted, would consider the revised Nigeria National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy/Strategy.
Her words:“Two survey questionnaires, which served to monitor the alignment of National and Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Policies with the PFRS for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa and to survey its implementation with reference to Nigeria, have been completed and submitted to AU-IBAR.
“The surveys were completed with the active participation of the Federal Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.”
She said the completed questionnaires for Nigeria and other African Union member states could form baselines on which the successes of the national policies would be measured in subsequent years.
“This would be in a similar manner to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) member country questionnaires for monitoring the implementation of the 1995 Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCFR) that are completed annually by countries.”
Stakeholders during the forum recommended promotion of research-based policy that will lead to development of indigenous ornamental fishery, updating national data and encouraging artisanal fishers to collaborate and form cooperatives.
Other recommendations included developing a policy to take care of post-harvest storage for artisanal fishers, designing a national action plan to implement the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries within African Union Policy framework.