The Impact of Fish Trade on Development: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Evidence from West Africa Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/conference_proceedings_or_journals/t148fj017

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  • The global trade in both fish commodities and fisheries services has expanded significantly in the past 10 years. FAO estimates that the current value of the international trade in fish commodities is over US $80 billion per year (fish is the most valuable traded agricultural commodity). Fisheries services are less well-documented, but in relation to international fishing agreements alone have an estimated worth of billions of dollars per year. In the developing world, regions such as West Africa increasingly participate in the international fish trade, while also retaining large domestic and regional trade components. However, there is an active debate amongst the different actors involved (fishers, traders, government policy makers, consumers, non-government organisations) concerning its overall impact on development including the contribution to economic growth, sustainable livelihoods, food security and poverty reduction. In the following paper, which is based on the findings of a recent study undertaken as part of the DFID/FAO Sustainable Fisheries Livelihoods Programme (SFLP), the fish trade and its contribution to development in West Africa will be examined from both theoretical and empirical perspectives using a series of case-studies from marine and inland fisheries. The paper concludes that while fish trade can make an important positive contribution to development in West Africa, this will be dependent upon the existence of an appropriate policy framework at national level in the first instance. In order to achieve this, policy makers will need access to more information and a good understanding, as a basis for policy decision-making, in a range of areas including - the fish trade in general, the dynamics and changing impact of trade over time, the role of comparative advantage, and coherence between trade policies and other policies.
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  • Neiland, Arthur E. 2006. The Impact of Fish Trade on Development: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Evidence from West Africa. 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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