9 September 2019, Apia, SAMOA The Government of Samoa in partnership with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States will host the 6th Meeting of ACP Ministers in Charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Apia from 12 – 13 September 2019.
Close to 175 international delegates are expected to be in Apia to attend the upcoming meetings, representing some 56 ACP member States, 19 regional and international organisations, and invited experts
An ACP Senior Officials Meeting on 10 – 11 September 2019 will precede the Ministerial meeting, to be opened by the Hon. Lopaoo Natanielu Mua, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of Samoa. The outcomes of the senior officials’ meeting will be considered by the ACP Ministers.
The fisheries and aquaculture sector plays an irreplaceable role in the food and nutritional security of many ACP States, in particular ACP Small Island Developing States. Fish also continues to be one of the most-traded food commodities globally, and for some ACP States fisheries exports account for half the total value of their traded commodities. ACP Ministers will therefore aim to advance the goal of sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture through consideration of a range of policy options in ACP Countries.
The Pacific Ocean contains the largest array of marine habitats and coastal biodiversities in the world and sustains the largest stocks of albacore, big eye, skipjack and yellowfin tuna. It has extensive coral reefs, consisting of 70 coral genera supporting over 4,000 fish species, 30 mangrove species and a range of reptiles, marine mammals and sea birds. The marine habitat and ecosystems of the Pacific Ocean also provides the pelagic and coastal fisheries resources that the people of the Pacific depend on for food security and continuing livelihoods. This Meeting will allow the Pacific region to highlight the importance of cooperation and collaboration amongst ACP members in support of fisheries management and development in the Pacific.
ACP Ministers will also have the opportunity to review the implementation of their earlier decisions and take decisions on following priority themes of the meetings.
- Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing;
- Small scale fisheries for food security and livelihoods;
- Post-harvest losses reduction, enhanced value addition and market access;
- Climate change and fisheries;
- Inland fisheries for economic transformation;
- Sustainable blue growth;
- Aquaculture development; and
- Multilateral ocean governance agreements (i) conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) (ii) Fisheries subsidies.
The meeting is open to (i) ACP Ministers responsible for fisheries and aquaculture; (ii) senior-level fisheries officials from the ACP states involved in policy development and implementation; (iii) Invited representatives of ACP regional fisheries bodies; (iv) Invited representatives from multilateral institutions; and (v) Invited experts to speak on selected thematic issues.
Speakers on thematic areas during the meeting will comprise of officials from member states, invited representatives of the regional fisheries organisations/international organisations, and invited experts. It is also anticipated that side events and exhibitions by invited stakeholders to showcase new practices and tools can be organised on the side-lines of the meeting.