On Wednesday, February 3rd, Mauritania will launch a global fisheries initiative, the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) at an international one-day conference in its capital, Nouakchott. A global initiative, the FiTI will improve fisheries management in Mauritania and in implementing countries.
If better management at global level ends over-fishing and rebuilds depleted fish stocks, then it could increase the global catch by about 20 percent to nearly 100 million tons each year, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Larger catches, in turn, could generate more jobs, food security, and trade – critical issues for many developing countries. In West Africa alone, fisheries provide jobs for an estimated 25 percent of the population. Fish are also a major source of food and nutrition in a region that is chronically food insecure.
One major obstacle to progress, however, has been the lack of transparency in fisheries sectors all around the world, facilitating corruption, poor management, and over-fishing. Boosting transparency will increase understanding of our fisheries and is vital for civil society oversight. More transparency will facilitate better, more responsible and sustainable management.
Other countries may also commit to the initiative at the one day conference, which takes place in Nouakchott’s Centre International des Conférences. Some 200 representatives from governments, companies, civil society, and international organizations are expected to attend. Confirmed speakers include:
- E. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President, Islamic Republic of Mauritania
- E. Isabella Lövin, Minister, International Development Cooperation, Sweden
- E. Oumar Guèye, Minister, Fisheries and Maritime Economy, Republic of Senegal
- E. Abdlatif Y. Al-Hamad, Director General, Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development
- Peter Eigen, Founder of Transparency International and Founding Chair of the Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
- as well as Senior representatives from Indonesia, Mauritania, the Seychelles, the African Development Bank, the EU, the UN FAO, the World Bank Group and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa.