Can Africa Benefit from Asia's Experiences? In Pursuit of Sustainable Fisheries and Poverty Alleviation Public Deposited

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  • In Africa, there is a growing awareness of the need to learn from the fisheries experiences of Asia, where the fisheries conditions are similar, to solve the deepening crisis in fisheries and poverty in the continent. As a response, technical assistance in the areas of fish stock assessment, fisheries management and rural development has been provided by the Japanese government and, under a World Bank project, study tours to Japan, the Philippines and Thailand had been organized for local staffs to obtain knowledge on fisheries co-management. To address the question of which of Asia’s experiences can actually be used in Africa, two of Asia’s successful intervention efforts, community-based fisheries co-management and livelihood projects, have been adopted. In areas of Africa where these intervention efforts have been introduced, positive changes have been witnessed. This is the case of Nianing, Senegal. Local residents have organized a management committee to control fishing for octopus and Cymbium sp. through the introduction of voluntary closed seasons and launched new types of economic activities such as the commercialization of marine products and chicken farming for poverty reduction. As a result, 80% of the local residents who have been interviewed experienced “an increase in their income despite the introduction of closed seasons.” While it is true that many African countries are in search of ways to changing policy direction towards decentralization, the slow decentralization of fisheries administration in Asian countries prompted people to question its applicability in Africa. It raises question whether or not Asian countries have a technological advantage compared to Western countries to assist African fisheries. If efforts to assist Africa are to be divided between Western countries and Asian countries, one viable way may be for the former to lead in institutionalization of policies while the latter, in provision of practical technologies.
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  • Watanuki, Naohiko. 2006. Can Africa Benefit from Asia's Experiences? In Pursuit of Sustainable Fisheries and Poverty Alleviation. In: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 11-14, 2006, Portsmouth, UK: Rebuilding Fisheries in an Uncertain Environment. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2006. CD ROM. ISBN 0-9763432-3-1
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