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ACP Fisheries Ministers Adopt Action Plan

25 November 2010: The second meeting of the fisheries ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States, which took place in Mahe, Seychelles, from 24-25 November 2010, adopted a resolution addressing climate change and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, among other issues.

In the resolution, ACP fisheries ministers: recognize the growing importance of aquaculture in meeting the increased world demand for fish protein in an environment of depleted fisheries resources resulting from overfishing, climate change, pollution and habitat destruction; express concern over the threat and current impacts of climate change on the fisheries and aquaculture sectors; and recognize that the identification and implementation of appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures will represent a high cost for vulnerable States.

Ministers appealed to the ACP States to take steps to further integrate fisheries and oceans into the national and international climate change agendas to secure space for fisheries and oceans in financial instruments that support adaptation and mitigation, including in the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), the Special Climate Change Fund, and the Adaptation Funds. Ministers also urgently requested the international community to agree at the Cancun Climate Change Conference to a package of immediate and concrete action to assist ACP States, in particular those most vulnerable to climate change crises.

Ministers further requested that, in view of their special circumstances, ACP States benefit from a special and preferential treatment in respect of the overall prohibition of fisheries subsidies. They urged: ACP States to pool their technical and financial resources together to better combat IUU fishing; the international community to support financially and technically, through specific programmes, the efforts made at the national and regional levels to prevent, counteract and eradicate IUU fishing; and support international measures for combating IUU fishing such as the listing of IUU vessels by the EU and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), as well as the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The ACP fisheries ministers further agreed to a five-year strategic plan of action, expressing commitment to a more pro-active approach for the preservation of aquatic biodiversity and the economic value of the fisheries sector. They agreed to devise fisheries management plans and use relevant assessment tools for evaluating the efficiency of (ACP and foreign) fishing fleets. [The Resolution] [ACP Press-Communiqué]