Support for Fishery Management in West Africa

Project description

Title: Support for Fishery Management in West Africa
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: West Africa
Lead executing agency: Commission Sous-Régionale des Pêches (CSRP) mit Sitz in Dakar, Senegal
Overall term: 2005 to 2010 

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Fish catches have been declining sharply in recent years in the West African waters between Mauritania in the north and Sierra Leone in the south. 35 percent of stocks are considered to be overfished or threatened with overfishing.

The countries in the area are aware of the problem. Twenty years ago Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Gambia and the Cape Verde islands joined together to form the Commission Sous-Régionale des Pêches (CSRP). Since then, Sierra Leone has also joined the group. According to the wishes of the member states, the CSRP is charged with harmonising national fishery laws and regulations, with the objectives of effective fishery supervision and sustainable resource management. The projects of various partner countries, including Germany, support the Commission with this challenging activity, which is fraught with potential conflict.


The fisheries commission CSRP secures the sustainable use of fishery resources in the member states.


The project supports the strengthening of the CSRP as a platform for information and discussion. It assists the CSRP in setting up the committees necessary to achieve harmony between the various national regulatory frameworks and an integrated fisheries policy. It brings together relevant state structures from the member states as well as key players from the private sector and civil society. There is also support for the introduction of a regional register for fishery vessels and the creation of a knowledge management system.

Employees of the CSRP and of other relevant institutions in the CSRP member states are trained for their various activities.

Working groups are given technical and methodological advice on the drafting of fishery management plans. Important tasks for the project are to provide the representatives of the individual countries with a more general picture of the overall problem, and to negotiate a compromise between the competing interests of the individual members of the community.

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Results achieved so far

The mandate of the CSRP and the required organisational structure of the CSRP secretariat have been agreed. Following an operational evaluation conducted jointly with the EU, a course has been set for the fishery commission to work in an efficient and target-oriented manner. On this basis, human resources policy and internal working processes have been revised.

Improved communication has helped to strengthen the working relationship between the CSRP and the institutions of the member states.