Promoting Sustainable Fisheries: Renewed impetus for regional cooperation
The E€OFISH programme was officially launched on Wednesday December 9, 2020 in Port Louis (Mauritius). Chaired by Nandcoomar Bodha, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade of the Republic of Mauritius, this ceremony heralded a new chapter in regional cooperation to promote sustainable fishing in the East Africa, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region.
The fishing industry can generate some 5 billion euros of gross annual income and provide over 15 million direct and indirect jobs in the region. This economic and social potential accounts for the importance which the region attaches to fishing in general and to E€OFISH in particular. Thus, public figures attended the official launch of the E€OFISH programme presided over by the head of Mauritian diplomacy, including Sudheer Maudhoo, Mauritian Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping; Vincent Degert, European Union Ambassador to the Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of Seychelles; Vêlayoudom Marimoutou, Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), as well as representatives of the 22 E€OFISH beneficiary countries.
E€OFISH aims to embed fishing among the region's economic levers by generating growth and jobs. "Promoting sustainable fishing is key to ensuring greater food security and better incomes for the populations", noted Vincent Degert, Ambassador of the European Union.
In order to achieve this goal, E€OFISH plans to create synergies among its partners and leverage their expertise and achievements. The mandate of E€OFISH "is not to reinvent the wheel but to build on what has been achieved, make any required adjustments to practices, redesign or strengthen fisheries policies and frameworks and effect positive change as far as possible”, said Vêlayoudom Marimoutou, Secretary General of the IOC.