Under the project ‘Support for increasing transparency and multi-stakeholder collaboration in fisheries management among four Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Africa’, financed by IrishAid, the FiTI seeks to engage reputable non-governmental organisations in Mauritius and São Tomé and Príncipe.
Fisheries are critical for the development and well-being of SIDS, accounting for a large proportion of total employment and food & nutrition security. Per capita consumption of fish in SIDS is usually much higher than it is in other countries, while artisanal small-scale fisheries play a central role in livelihoods and culture. Fisheries also often makes significant contributions to gross domestic product (GDP) and therefore government revenues. This is not only through direct exports but also e.g., via fees from fish license agreements for access.
However, SIDS face unique sustainable development challenges, including small populations, limited technical capabilities, vulnerability to natural disasters and external shocks, and high dependence on foreign imports. Also, the financial and human resource capabilities for effectively managing the fisheries sector are therefore often very limited.
These challenges also impact sustainable fisheries management, e.g., a lack of transparency in access agreements or institutionalised multi-stakeholder collaboration. There are a number of ways the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) can support SIDS in enhanced fisheries management through transparency.