EQUATORIAL GUINEA - The Ministry of Fisheries and Environment, with technical support from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched a new project whose goal is to generate scientific information on the state of fish stocks, from the maritime territory of Equatorial Guinea.
This $4 million new initiative on a four year scale, covering sea areas of Bioko, the Mainland region and Annobon, sets a milestone in the history of the development of the fisheries sector in the country. The results of the research will be used in order to develop an investment plan for the sustainable use of national fisheries. Furthermore, industrial and artisanal fisheries will the major beneficiaries of the project.
The objectives in the short and medium term, all contributing to food security of the local population, is to ensure the supply of quality fish products for Equatoguinean and international markets, to reduce dependence of fish imports and to generate new jobs.
"Fishing is the second pillar of the Strategy for Social and Economic Development of the country by 2020," said Crescencio Tamarite Castaño, Minister of Fisheries and Environment, during the launch of the project in Malabo, last 21 August. "This project will contribute to food security, creating new jobs and improving human capital", he added.
Strengthening cooperation with FAO
FAO provides technical assistance to its member countries to improve levels of food and nutrition of populations through the use of natural resources, including fish stocks. The FAO Representative in Equatorial Guinea, Olman Serrano, welcomed the government's initiative for this strategic investment in the diversification of the country’s economy and its renewed trust in FAO for the implementation of such an important project.
Representatives of the ministries involved in the implementation of project activities, namely Fishing and Environment; Agriculture; Security; Defence; Planning and Investment; Information and Communication; Mines, Industry and Energy; Interior and local communities as well as the National Agency 2020, attended the launching ceremony.
A priority action plan until the end of the year was discussed and approved. One of the major activities is an oceanographic study starting in November to be conducted by the Research Vessel Dr Fridtjof Nansen, a platform for collaboration in marine research, managed by the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in Bergen (Norway) under FAO supervision.
TheFishSite News Desk