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Southern Africa Network Meeting

7th November 2011 : ACP Fish II NETWORKING MEETING AND RECEPTION AT SADC PREMISES.

The ACP Fish II Network meeting scheduled on 7th November 2011 in Gaborone was an opportunity for the ACP Fish Network to join with other national and regional stakeholders to examine critical issues for the sustainable management of fisheries in southern Africa. Participants were invited to contribute to the technical discussions, examine their own role and potential involvement in solutions whilst also examining the contribution of ACP Fish II in the sector.

60 stakeholders including 25 representatives from Fisheries Administration of Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zambia, the most important regional fisheries and economic organizations throughout Africa and the Caribbean such as SADC SEAFO, SWIOFC, COMESA, IOC, CEEAC and CFRM, The European Commission, ACP Secretariat and private stakeholders have participated in the meeting.

Keynote speakers were invited to discuss on the key challenges of Fisheries Resources Management in the SADC region. The debate encompassed two main them as follow:

  • Theme 1: Regional Management of Shared Fisheries Resources: From Science to Governance (by Dr Peter Britz - Professor in the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science at Rhodes University -  Grahamstown, South Africa)

This presentation focused on the importance of good governance to complement science studies on shared fish stocks. At present, sufficient information on stocks and socio-economics of most systems from the Large Martine Ecosystems (LME) is available, however one of the main shortcomings has been their predominant science focus, and lack of process to develop governance and management tools to achieve sustainable ecosystem management.

  • Theme 2: Floodplain fisheries management, issues, debates and challenges: The case of the Okavango Delta (Dr K. Mosepele , Senior Research Scholar - Fisheries Biologist, University of Botswana - Okavango Research Institute (ORI)

The Okavango delta has been brought as a case to argue the need of fisheries management being in concert with fisher indigenous knowledge, leaving behind the top down control which is invariably detrimental to fish stocks and will ultimately affect the livelihoods of riparian communities. Therefore, there is an urgent need to adopt a holistic approach to fisheries management that integrates indigenous and scientific knowledge to account for fisher idiosyncrasies and hence continue to make fish an important source of food security.

Conference and debate were followed by a reception were participants had the opportunity to network and discuss informally.