Programme results

Senegalese fishermen. © United Nations/Evan Schneider

On 23 November 2009, the secretariat of the ACP Group of States convened the 14th meeting of the SFP programme Steering Committee, in cooperation with the EuropeAid Cooperation Office and the Mare, Trade, Sanco and Development DGs. Each module coordinator reviewed his field, providing details of missions in progress.

On 23 November 2009, the secretariat of the ACP Group of States convened the 14th meeting of the SFP programme Steering Committee, in cooperation with the EuropeAid Cooperation Office and the Mare, Trade, Sanco and Development DGs. Each module coordinator reviewed his field, providing details of missions in progress.  

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Interview: Ian Goulding, Module 1 expert

How do you typically work with Competent Authorities (CAs) in Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)?

We typically start with a mission to assess their legislative framework, staff capacity, control systems, laboratory availability, industry conditions and overall development policy. Subsequent missions then undertake specific actions such as new legislation. In many cases we need to prepare Terms of Reference for interventions by Modules 2 (for laboratory and technical facilities), 3 (for export industries) or 4 (for small-scale fisheries). For imports, the EU requires that a system of controls that are ‘at least equivalent’ to EU standards should be in place.

Revival of Pole and Line fishing in Papua New Guinea

The SFP programme is supporting actions to develop selectivity of Skip-jack tuna fishing, fuel-consumption reduction and improved freshness, making a contribution for the re-establishing of this fishery.

In the 1980s, the once thriving pole and line fishery for skipjack in Kavieng, Papua New Guinea ground to a halt when it could not compete in a commodity market dominated by high landings from purse seiners. Now the situation has changed. There is a renewed interest in pole and line fisheries sparked by demand from environmentally conscious consumers willing to pay a premium price for product sourced from sustainable fisheries. In comparison to purse seiners, pole and line operations are size specific and selective with only limited by catch.

Newsletter SFP-ACP 11



The Strengthening Fishery Products (SFP) programme has entered its final year of operation. It will end in late November 2010, after nearly seven years of existence.

New basis for European fishing

Previously, the European Parliament had been no more than a spectator
when it came to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Since
1 January it has been on an equal footing with the European Commission.

Maria Damanaki has been appointed new Commissioner as the
CFP comes up for reform. Following the entry into force of the Lisbon
Treaty (and its Articles 38 to 43 most notably), the 763 MEPs now
have an active role to play in its management.

Foreseen in the Treaty of Rome in 1957, the CFP long remained an
appendage of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) before becoming
a policy in its own right while remaining subject to direct consultation
between the Commission and the European Council. Neither of
these bodies have any elected members. The CFP now comes under

Meeting between Mauritania and the EU

Fish Market area in Nouakchott, Mauritania, Africa. © sxc

A meeting of the Joint Committee of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
and the European Union was held in Nouakchott between 21 and
25 March 2010.

This was the first meeting at this level since 2008. In particular, it
made it possible to consider technical aspects concerning the fishing
activities of the European fleet in Mauritania. The two parties reached
agreement on the surveillance and control mechanisms to which the
European Union attaches great importance.

The discussions also sought to take stock of two years of implementing
support for the fishery sector as provided for by the protocol that entered
into force in 2008. This sectoral support made it possible to implement

Developing added value in Gambia

Fishermen in Gambia. © sxc / wootz

In October 2009, R. Shotton, expert with the SFP programme and specialist on aid to the smallscale fisheries sector, undertook a mission to Gambia. He observed how Gambia’s small-scale fisheries sector supplies pelagic fish that is subsequently dried, smoked and dispatched to national and regional markets. The other major activity consists of targeting species with a high commercial value (prawns, cuttlefish, spiny lobsters, sole and other percidae species) for which there is an active market in Dakar and that could be sold in Europe at a high price.

While fishers associations play an essential commercial and social role, in most cases they lack resources. Given the risk of Gambian produce being refused entry to European markets, no national sector player is prepared to invest in exports. As a result, the sector suffers from under-capitalisation.

The expert found that various levels of aid could be provided. Fishers associations could be strengthened at the purely administrative level. Upstream, the availability of isothermal crates for dug-out canoes and at catch

Eritrea wants to win back export markets by improving energy savings and refrigeration

With 1200km of Red Sea coastline and more than 359 islands, Eritrea has major fish resources. Indeed, this African country has traditionally exported fish (coral reef and pelagic fish; whole, gutted or filleted) as well as shrimp to Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Greece. Since 2007, however, Eurostat estimates that the volume of exports has fallen to no more than about 10 tonnes a year. In 2010, the Eritrean Government therefore decided to make the export of marine products to Europe a priority following the major investments made in the past decade in new factories, fishing vessels and landing sites.

The work of the SFP programme “Strengthening Fishery Products Health Conditions in the ACP/OCT countries” is part of this approach to winning back markets. In February, its expert, Mr Frank Hansen, undertook a specific mission: “Expert appraisal of refrigeration engineering in order to advise on refrigeration and storage options for factory-frozen products.” This followed an earlier preparatory mission carried out by John Ryder in December 2009. 

Equipment procurement and other activities

Between 2003 and 2010 the SFP Programme has supported around 44 ACP countries, with about 255 missions implemented over the last 2 years (160 field missions). Equipment continues to be delivered, destined for the inspection services of Competent Authorities and other laboratories. Alltogether, 44 recipient countries have benefited from €7.87 Million of equipment.