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Pan-African project to develop fish trade in the region

Fisheries research organisation WorldFish has launched a new pan-African project to strengthen the continent’s potential for increased trade in fish and support adoption of appropriate policies in intra-regional trade

FishTrade for a Better Future, an EU funded project implemented by WorldFish, will strengthen aquaculture value chains and give better access to intra-regional markets, which will subsequently improve food, nutritional security and income in sub-Saharan Africa.

Stephen J Hall, director general of WorldFish, said, “Africa has the potential to develop its fisheries and aquaculture to play a much greater role in promoting food security, providing livelihoods and supporting economic growth. Per capita consumption has fallen, despite Africa’s great abundance of aquatic resources. FishTrade for a Better Future will create the foundations for a more solid, productive and sustainable building-up of this great, continent-wide resource.”

Despite being a continent that is endowed with plentiful fish resources in oceans, rivers, lakes, floodplains and fish farms, Africa accounts for just 4.9 per cent of global fish trade.

“Trade is constrained by inadequate market, trade infrastructure and poor policy implementation. High transport costs, complex and unaligned trade rules and poor market information also prevent Africa from optimising the social and economic benefits available,” noted Hall.

More efficient trade could significantly improve income and nutrition for millions of Africans, particularly those 12.3mn that are directly employed in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, concluded the director general.