Addis Ababa, August 17, 2022 (Walta) – A workshop to facilitate the review of performance of Eco-fish programs and activities at national and IGAD levels as well as to assess cooperation between IGAD members, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean is underway in Addis Ababa.
Opening the IGAD Fisheries Coordination Platform workshop, Minister of State for Agriculture, Fikru Regassa said Ethiopia is striving to utilize its fisheries resources and cooperate with IGAD.
“Ethiopia, in its 10-year strategic development plan and agricultural plan, has given special attention to the development of fisheries and aquaculture.”
According to him, the workshop will review the performance of Eco-fish programs and activities at IGAD sub-regional and national level.
Stating that the IGAD Secretariat has multilateral projects which are being implemented in Ethiopia, the Minister of State said “we will work closely with the IGAD Secretariat in regards to fisheries development, of management and the results expected from the cooperation”.
IGAD has started assisting the fisheries sub-sector in Ethiopia and is in the process of supporting its national blue economy strategy.
The representative of the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Abebe M. Beyene, on his part, said that the IGAD region is endowed with highly diverse inland and marine ecosystems immense fishery resources that require better attention and better management. coordination to use them.
Five IGAD Member States namely Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya are coastal countries with a total length of about 7,000 km and about 1.2 million km square exclusive economic zone, he noted.
“Fish productivity in this marine area is very high. In general, the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden region is globally known for its unique coastal and marine biodiversity,” explained Abebe.
Despite the potential resource that could be used to ensure food security and export both in IGAD Member States and in Africa, “there is less focus and attention to develop the sub-sector fisheries,” said the representative.
Fishing activity in the region is often illegal, unreported and unregulated, especially in Somalia, he said, further pointing out that the lack of economic zone is also a challenge, except in Kenya.
Head of the EU Flagship Project in East Africa, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region, Madev Balloo, said the meeting aimed to strengthen cross-regional collaboration in the Indian Ocean sub-region. IGAD to promote sustainable, inclusive and integrated management of fishery resources.
“This is crucial in order to promote synergies at a time when resources are limited and fisheries resources are depleting at an alarming rate.”
The EU therefore recommends to the Indian Ocean Commission, IGAD and all relevant stakeholders to promote activities that mainly include strategic actions of the maritime work plan.
According to the ENA, the workshop will remain until August 18, 2022.