20 December 2021 (GAMBELA, Ethiopia): As part of the Ecofish Programme, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development organised a workshop entitled ” Bilateral Fisheries Coordination Platform Consultative Meeting (Capacity Building) between Ethiopia and South Sudan on Baro-Akobo-Sobat River Basin Fisheries Management
The workshop brought together stakeholders representing various ministries of the Governments of Ethiopia and of South Sudan. Some of the key stakeholders are representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fisheries Research and University, and regional experts from the Baro-Akobo-Sobat river basins of the two countries.
The IGAD Secretariat developed and validated an integrated fisheries management plan (IFMP), for Baro-Akobo-Sobat River Basin (BAS RB). In the fisheries co-management plan, one of the most important milestone stated is to establish BAS RB Fisheries Bilateral Coordination Platform (FBCP). This platform is instrumental to operationalise fisheries co-management activities in BAS RB of Ethiopia and South Sudan.
Dr. Eshete Dejen Programme Manager for Environment and Coordinator for Blue Economy at IGADS made opening remarks on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary. He stressed that the promotion of sustainable small scale fisheries is constrained by a number of factors, such as: lack of attention by policy makers, lack of appropriate and efficient fishing equipment, high post-harvest loss, difficult access to markets and lack of promotion of fish as an excellent source of animal proteins.
Mr. Okech Maluoth, Head of Livestock and Fisheries Bureau, Gambela Region, Ethiopia in his opening remarks mentioned that Gambela is endowed with huge fish resources and has also the highest fish diversity from all river basins. He appreciated IGAD initiative to support the fisheries sector and he appealed to other development partners to assist in the development of the fisheries sector in the region.
The E€OFISH Programme is a Cross-Regional Initiative funded by the 11th EDF to leverage regional cooperation for enhancing sustainable inland and marine fisheries in Eastern African, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO) region. The overall objective of the programme is “to enhance equitable economic growth by promoting sustainable fisheries in the EA-SA-IO region”. The specific objective is “to support sustainable management and development of fisheries in order to contribute to poverty alleviation, food and nutrition security while addressing climate change resilience and enhancing marine biodiversity”.