ECOSYSTEM APPROACH TO FISHERIES
The Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) has been developed by FAO in response to the need to implement, in a practical manner the principle s of sustainable development (WCED,1987), the convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and, more recently, the Code of conduct for Fisheries (FAO,1995). EAF is consistent with all these principles and has been adopted by COFI as the appropriate approach for management of fisheries.
Consequently, it deals with all the ecological consequences of fishing and recognizes the social and economic implications of fishing and its management arrangements. It also assists in understanding how these activities interact and affect each other.
The EAF system covers issues related to target species, non target species, other dependent species within the ecosystem, minimizing waste and pollution, endangered species biodiversity, optimum utilization, the welfare of various states involved including the interests of artisanal and subsistence fishers.
Consequently, EAF should not be seen as an addition burden for member countries, instead , this framework should help to plan, coordinate and prioritize current and proposed activities, making them clearer by giving a ‘home’ to the many strategies and monitoring programs underway. This should therefore, help with the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the management agency.
Liberia is collaborating with Sierra Leone to implement one of the ‘baby project’ put in place by the EAF-Nansen project to develop sector specific management plan for the artisanal fisheries of the two countries. As part of this initiative a draft baseline report was prepared “Baseline report for Artisanal Fisheries of Liberia” by a national consultant. This document)outlines many of the issues facing this fishery and includes some information on the fishery the species and stakeholders involved and the managements that are already in place.
Download the Baseline Report for Artisanal Fisheries of Liberia her
The EAF-Nansen Project is a partnership between the Norwegian Agency for Development (Norad), the Norwegian Institute for Marine Research (IMR) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). Through a tripartite agreement, these three organisations are supporting developing countries in their efforts to fulfil their commitments and implement an ecosystems approach to fisheries.The Project is closely associated with Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) projects and other regional projects funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), including the Canary Current and Guinea Current LMEs.
To facilitate the implementation of the EAF-Nansen project Liberia, a National Task Group (NTG) has been established. The work of the NTG will include facilitating consultation process among relevant stakeholders towards the implementation of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF). The NTG works under the authority of the Bureau of National Fisheries.The National Task Group is composed of representatives of the fisheries administration and research institutions, and selected stakeholders so as to provide coverage of the major fishery types and interests,and ensure ownership.
Information about the Liberia National Task Group can be found here
More information on the EAF-Nansen Project can be found here