Living Marine Resources Programme

Proper management of living marine resources is important to sustain the livelihoods of people dependent on the resources, to maintain the ecological integrity of marine communities, and to conserve biodiversity.
Fishery resources in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden have a great economic and social importance that plays an important role in activating the exploitation of this wealth by traditional and commercial sectors. However, the living marine resources in the region face various threats the most important of which are the deterioration of habitats, overfishing and pollution risks from different marine and land-based sources. Most PERSGA activities and programmes have focused on the living marine resources in the region targeting mainly the improvement of capacities to achieve sustainable management of these renewable resources. Under the concept of sustainable development, the rational management of fisheries should take into account the pressure caused by extensive fishing activities in the ecosystem in general, not just pressure on the target species. From this perspective, appears the importance of adopting the ecosystem approach in fisheries management as an ideal tool for the application of the concept of sustainable development.
On this basis, PERSGA is currently seeking to adopt this approach, which is in harmony with its objectives, and in line with what has been formulated by several treaties and international initiatives (such as the Sustainable Development Summit 2002, the Jeddah Declaration, Strategic Directions for Regional Seas for the years 2008-2012). The Sustainable Development Summit (Johannesburg, 2002) has urged countries of the world to apply the ecosystem approach in fisheries management by 2010, but progress in this field has been very slow in general. The weakness of technical knowledge and lack of awareness of the differences between traditional management methods and the ecosystem approach in fisheries management, formulate the most important obstacles in this area.

Perhaps the most important prerequisites for this is the improvement of human and institutional capacities in national departments responsible for fisheries management, and knowledge of professionals of the ecosystem approach in fisheries management, as can be applied.

This programme implements global fisheries imitative in coordination with specialized international authorities such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) and others. The programme seeks to coordinate the laws, regulation and national action plans that govern and manage marine fisheries within the region. Training courses are held to build institutional and human capacities in the field of data collection and the analysis of marine fisheries statistics.

Capacity-Building and Training Activities:
PERGSA has identified and trained National and Regional specialists to form specialist thematic teams, or Working Groups, that receive training in necessary skills in order to carry out conservation activities in their respective territories. 
 Two research and training centres were consequently upgraded. The first is located at the Fisheries Training Institute in AdenYemen. The second at the Faculty of Marine Science King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Jeddah. These “regional” training centres received computer hardware, survey tools, and laboratory apparatus.
Furthermore, the KAU training centre houses PERSGA’s taxonomic collection of regional marine organisms. Taxonomic research plays an important role in the training of scientists. This collection allows for verification of data collected during field work and helps assure the highest possible accuracy in survey and monitoring activities. Staff have since been trained at the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in FrankfurtGermany on preparation and preservation of specimens, documentation and labelling, policies for loans, electronic management systems and databases, legal issues, taxonomy, and collection management. 
To improve identification and analysis of fisheries data, PERSGA purchased and distributed to all national fisheries institutions the FAO Fish Base 2000, as well as an CD identification guide for all the LMR species recorded in the region.



The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden