Key figures: 

EEZ: 116,584 km2

Catches: 191,862 t

Artisanal fleet: 6,025

Motorization: 44 %

Employment: 84,200

Consumption: 13.56 kg/hab/yr

Exports: 40.45 M USD

Share in exports: 4.48 %

Share in GDP: 0.43 %


Located in West Africa, Guinea shares borders to the North with Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Mali, to the East with Côte d'Ivoire and to the South with Liberia and Sierra Leone. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West. Guinea’s EEZ stretches over a coastline of approximately 300 km with a surface area of 56,000 km2.

The population of Guinea is estimated in 2014 at 10,628,000 inhabitants with an annual demographic growth rate of 2.8%. There is a high proportion of young persons; 45% of the population is under 15 years. The urbanization rate is 50% and 1,660,000 inhabitants live in Conakry, the country’s administrative and economic capital. For a total surface area of 245,857 km2, population density is 42 inhabitants per square kilometre.

Per capita income was estimated at USD 582 in 2015.One in two Guineans lives on less than one dollar a day and about 55% of the population live below the poverty line (see five-year socio-economic development plan, 2011-2015).

In 2015, the tertiary sector accounted for 36% of GDP, the secondary sector 32.8%, and the primary sector 23.8%. Within the primary sector, fisheries represents approximately 2% of GDP mainly due to activities relating to artisanal fisheries. The growth rate of Guinea’s economy has been 3% per year on average since the beginning of the 21st century. The World Bank considers this rate below potential given the country's mining (bauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium), agricultural and water resources which remain largely untapped.

Guinea’s continental shelf is the largest submerged surface in the entire Atlantic coast of Africa (56,000 km2). It is 200 km wide with a slight slope. The coastline is 300 km long. Guinea’s waters contain significant resources (shrimps, whitefish, small pelagics) associated to a marine environment that is relatively conducive to fisheries development (seasonal upwelling, river flow).

Institutional framework

Fisheries is governed by Law N° 2015/026/AN of 14 September 2015 on the Code of Maritime Fishing, Law N° 2015/027/AN of 14 September 2015 on the Code of Continental Fishing and Law N° 2015/028/AN of 14 September 2015 on the Aquaculture Code. These laws and their implementing orders are the references for all fisheries development measures in Guinea and take into account the key principles of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCPR 1995) as well as the relevant conventions on the sustainable management of resources.

The Government developed a more attractive Investment Code (Law L/2015/008/AN of 25 May 2015). Economic activities are subject to OHADA law.

The sector is controlled by the Ministry of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Maritime Economy. It is in charge of developing, coordinating, promoting and monitoring implementation of the Government’s policies in the areas of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Maritime Economy (Decree D/2016/094/PRG/SGG of 30 March 2016).

In addition to the Office of the Minister and that of the Secretary General, the Ministry of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Maritime Economy also includes support services, central services and decentralized services.

Central departments in charge of developing the Government’s policies on maritime, aquaculture and continental fishing are:

  • National Department of Industrial Fishing,
  • National Department of Artisanal Fishing,
  • National Department of Aquaculture, and
  • National Department of Maritime Economy.

The Ministry of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Maritime Economy supervises the following agencies working within its purview:

  • The CNSHP (Boussoura National centre for fisheries science) in charge of applied research in the fisheries and aquaculture sector;
  • The National Surveillance Centre and Fisheries Police in charge of surveillance and protection of fisheries resources in the maritime zone under sovereignty and national jurisdiction as well as rivers and waterways in the Republic of Guinea;
  • The ONSPA (National Bureau for sanitary control of fisheries and aquaculture products) in charge of controlling the quality of fisheries and aquaculture products.

The Ministry has advisory bodies which include the National Advisory Council on Fisheries, Aquaculture and Maritime Economy, the National Transaction Committee relating to fishing vessels and the Disciplinary Council.


Artisanal fisheries

About 6,025 canoes make up the artisanal fleet, with an average motorization rate of 44% and approximately 17,156 fishermen in operation. The following six main types of gear are currently in use for artisanal demersal fishing: (driftnets (29%), encircling gillnets (25%), long lines (20%), bottom-set gillnets (15%), lines (9%) and swing nets (2%).

Industrial fisheries

This involves pelagic, cephalopod, shrimp and demersal fishing. Industrial demersal fishing exploits high quality species (pseudotolithus or otolithus, polynemidae, white grunt, sea bream, red carp, red mullet, flounder, grouper, etc.) mainly for export purposes. An industrial fishing license is required and obtained from the Ministry of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Maritime Economy through the National Department of Maritime Fisheries. The fee is based on the fishing category and the vessel capacity (see Fisheries development and management plan).

State of the resources

Guinea’s waters contain significant resources (shrimps, whitefish, small pelagics...) associated to a marine environment that is relatively conducive to fisheries development (seasonal upwelling, river flow).

The potential of the shrimp stock in deep sea is unknown. Deep sea resources mainly comprise seasonal resources such as tunas (albacore, patudo, skipjack).

The Guinean EEZ is a transit route for these highly migratory species between high concentration zones situated further North (Senegal and Mauritania) and international waters in the equatorial zone. Their availability in Guinea is therefore subject to South-North (spring) and North-South (autumn) migration, and is sporadic and limited to offshore waters (>200 m).

Demersal resources comprise ground fish (sea bass, flounder, catfish, sea bream), cephalopods (mainly cuttle-fish) and shrimps. Pelagic resources (ethmalosa, sardinella, horse mackerel) have considerable potential and are mainly exploited by national operators in the artisanal sub-sector.70% of catches are ethmalosa for the local market.

The annual catch potential is estimated between 200,000 and 250,000 tons, of which slightly more than half comprise pelagic species (150,000 tons). However, results of recent stock assessment campaigns conducted in 2015 by the research vessels GENERAL LANSANA CONTE and ITAF DEM show biomasses of 153,000 tons and 160,150 tons of demersal fish respectively.

Demersal fishing is more significant in terms of total catches with approximately 35,000 tons per year and an existing biomass estimated at 45,000 tons.

Cephalopod and shrimp captures are relatively lower with 6,000 tons and 1,500 tons per year on average.

Most stocks are over-exploited, particularly those along the coastal line.

Access to resources

The fisheries management strategy in the EEZ is based on the allocation of fishing possibilities per broad species group.

Pursuing fishing activities is subject to obtaining a fishing license or permit.

The fishing license or permit is granted in priority to Guinean vessels after completion of the following formalities:

  • Registration with the National Department of Maritime Fisheries for any new fishing company;
  • Technical and sanitary inspection of any vessel requesting a fishing license;
  • Presentation of the original certificate of gross tonnage;
  • Marking of fishing vessels in compliance with the relevant provisions;
  • Payment of fishing rights determined on the basis of the type of fishing, gross tonnage of the vessel and duration of the fishing activity;
  • Mandatory installation and functioning of a VMS beacon;
  • Presentation of the navigation license;
  • Boarding of a Guinean observer and marine;
  • Registration of the vessel on the list of approved fishing vessels;
  • Non-involvement of the vessel, its captain or company in IUU fishing activities;
  • Landing of part of its products on the local market.

Guinea is a party to The Lomé Convention: an agreement which governs cooperation between the European Union and countries in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions. It allows ACP countries to benefit from preferential access to the European market (a regime whereby most products from ACP countries are exempt from customs duties when entering the European market).