Guinean actors gather to continue efforts in implementing the FiTI

CONAKRY – 13 January. Building on the commitment of the Guinean President and of its Government to join the FiTI, the African Confederation of Artisanal Fisheries Professional Organisations (CAOPA) gathered in Conakry more than 50 participants to propose concrete next steps towards meeting this engagement.

The workshop had clear objectives: explain the transparency requirements of the FiTI Standard that countries must comply with; make a preliminary assessments on the current availability of the information; and define a strategy to establish a National Multi-Stakeholder Group in Guinea.

To ensure the inclusiveness of the reflections – an essential feature of the FiTI – the CAOPA convened representatives from all concerned stakeholder groups, which included relevant government representatives, actors from various artisanal fishing ports around Conakry, the civil society and parliamentarians.

The turnout of this workshop emphasised the high interest in the FiTI and the importance of this initiative for Guinea, although the participants regretted the delay of the government in signing the presidential decree that would allow to set the institutional bases for the FiTI.

During the meeting, participants, in particular representatives of the artisanal fishing industry, further emphasised the strong necessity for more transparency and participation. In their opinion, both transparency and participation go hand in hand: having access to more information on fisheries management will enable them to play a more active role in ensuring sustainable fisheries management.

The participants raised in particular the hope that enhanced transparency could help address current challenges, such as the sale and use of monofilament fishing nets – a forbidden practice –, the catch of juveniles, the increasing presence of foreign actors in the artisanal sector, issues of transhipment on the high seas and the impacts and benefits of fishing agreements for the artisanal fisheries sector. For this, they emphasised the essential need for better dissemination and sharing of information from the Government.

The workshop closed with participants urging the President to sign and widely disseminate the decree to pursue their efforts and see Guinea soon become an official FiTI Candidate Country.