Sustainable Fishery Development in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (SFISH)
The Red Sea and Gulf of Aden region (RSGA) is globally known for the uniqueness of its coral reefs and marine biodiversity. Its ecosystems support a high proportion of endemic species that also includes many important fish species. The RSGA also supports extensive seagrass beds and mangroves, which are critical fish breeding and feeding grounds. The Gulf of Aden has levels of biological productivity that are amongst the highest in the world.
Capture fishery, as a traditional economic activity, remains a main source of food and income for coastal communities in the region. However, stocks of several economically important fish species are seriously threatened due to degradation of their essential coastal habitats and overexploitation. To overcome such threats, sound fishery statistics, good and effective governance and functional regional collaboration are essential elements to manage marine fisheries efficiently and sustainably. The rational management of the RSGA living marine resources is one of the focal objectives of the PERSGA mission and work. In collaboration with the world bank, PERSGA initiated the SFISH project as a high priority operation that will result in an important and timely effort to foster cooperation in managing fisheries in the RSGA region, and critical to the economies of the RSGA member states.
SFISH Project Development Objective is to strengthen regional collaborations and management for sustainable development of fisheries in the RSGA region. The project intended to achieve this through:
- Establishing a regional, joint fishery assessment process, and sharing information to support science-based management of fisheries in the RSGA.
- Supporting regional platforms for coordination of policies, legislation, management measures for responsible fisheries and aquaculture, and build capacities through providing training programs and technical guidelines tailored to the Region.
- Enhancing citizen, private sector and development partner engagement in the regional sustainable fishery mechanism through improved knowledge management, communication strategies and awareness.
In this context the Project will focus on addressing several priority issues for the sector, undertaking reviews and capacity gap assessments, developing harmonized Action Plans in PERSGA region, and building capacities to enable implementation of these Action Plans, including for the following priority issues
- Elimination of IUU fishing,
- Protection of Fish Spawning Aggregations
- Reduction/avoidance of fishery by-catch.
- Restoration of critical fish habitats and sustaining productivity to support rebuilding fish stocks
- Conservation Action Plans and measures for sharks, marine turtles, seabirds and marine mammals.
- Demonstration of Aquaculture best practices, EIA , biosecurity measures and systems
- Demonstration of Climate Change adaptation and mitigation measures, and resilience for RSGA fishery and aquaculture.