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African governments unanimously adopt Abuja declaration on sustainable fisheries, aquaculture

H.E. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, President of Nigeria, concluded a four-day NEPAD-Fish for All Summit by announcing adoption of the Abuja Declaration on Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa at the Secretariat of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The Declaration was agreed at an assembly of high-level government leaders that included the Vice President of The Gambia, Ministers of Fisheries from Mozambique, Ghana, The Gambia, Niger, Malawi, Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and South Africa, ambassadors and technical delegates.

The Declaration endorses an Action Plan completed during technical meetings August 22-24 involving 100 experts from across the continent at the Fish for All summit. The Action Plan is based on a five point strategy that focuses on supporting capture fisheries, developing aquaculture, improving fish market chains, increasing benefits from fish trade and supporting decision makers with information.

Said President Obasanjo: "If Africa's per capita consumption of fish is just to be kept at its present level, though grossly low and unacceptable, then fish production must be increased by over 250 percent by 2015. This unhealthy situation calls for urgent action and indeed poses a great challenge to all of us."

African fish and fishery products also have an annual export value of US$2.7 billion, he noted, "yet these benefits are at risk as the exploitation of African natural fish stocks is reaching its limits and aquaculture production has not realised its full potential."

Minister of Agriculture for Nigeria, Mallan Adamu Bello commended the WorldFish Center for promoting the idea of a Fish for All Summit that would go a long way to help Africa boost its food production if the Abuja Declaration is implemented.

Dr. Stephen Hall, Director General of the WorldFish Center, who also represented Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, Chairman of the Fish for All Global Steering Committee, s
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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
WorldFish Center
25-Aug-2005


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