Concerned countries :

Cape-Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Morocco

Funding source:

The Netherlands

Implementation agency:


Budget :

522.750 Euro

Project duration :

2 years (06/2007 – 05/2009)


The stocks of small pelagic fish of West Africa are not limited to the territorial waters of one country, but extend into the territorial waters of two or more neighbouring coastal countries (common stock). Also, some stocks migrate along the coast: they may be found in the coastal waters of a country during part of the year, and those of neighbouring countries during the remainder part of the year.

The cross-border nature of these resources and the natural variability to which they are subject require specific management and regional cooperation for a consideration of the resource in its transboundary aspect.

Information on the size of the stocks of small pelagic species and their level of exploitation as well as the exchange of such information between states that share these stocks are a prerequisite for a harmonized and coordinated management of fisheries in the region.

The overall objective of the Project perfectly corresponds to the SRFC 2002-2010 Strategic Action Plan. This plan identifies a number of areas where the SRFC intends to take action. The first area is the "Fisheries management policy, the first of which is:" promoting the development of joint fisheries management plans, particularly for fisheries of common interest. "


The project overall objective is:

  • Promoting policies and management plans that can enable a sustainable use of the stocks of small pelagic fishes in the upwelling region of West and north Africa.

The specific objectives are:

  • Support and facilitate the process that will lead to the coordination and standardization of sub regional policies and management mechanisms.
  • Design a policy for the fishing of small pelagic fishes with an involvement of the concerned groups based in the SRFC zone and in Morocco.
  • Support the implementation of regional policies at national and lower levels ;
  • Improve the conditions for the management of the fishing of small pelagic fishes
  • Coordinate of donor support in order to standardize the support in the area of fisheries management at sub regional level.


The project activities will be implemented in several phases. At the end of each phase, a number of workshops will be organized in order to assess expected results. From these, it will be possible to plan the following year activities.

Phase 1: starting phase (about 3 months):

  • Recruitment of project coordinator;
  • Organisation of launch workshop;


Phase 2 (about 12 months):

  • gather the information on the situation of the stocks of small pelagic species and fishing in the sub region ;
  • Disseminate the information to concerned groups of the sub region using appropriate channels;
  • Organise a experience exchange workshop with other regions of the world involved in regional management mechanisms of pelagic fishes and to discuss their implementability in the context of North and West Africa;
  • Facilitate discussions between fisheries researchers, managers, resource users (artisanal and industrial) and other interested parties (NGOs)
  • Make an inventory of potential constraints, whether legal, institutional or other that could be a hindrance to the operation of conceivable mechanisms for a joint management of the fishing of small pelagic species in the sub region;
  • Organise a workshop (halfway of the time scheduled planned for the duration of the project) to be attended by the SRFC member states and Morocco, that will enable to discuss the project activities and to identify the activities to be suggested for phase 3.

Phase 3 (9 months):

  • Finalization of the joint sub regional management policies’ proposals and procedures for the fishing of small pelagic species;
  • Submission of these proposals for discussion during the next meeting of the ministers of fisheries or of any other appropriate decision making body of the sub region;
  • Support both national and lower level activities relating to management decisions taken by the SRFC and Morocco at sub regional level that contribute to improving management conditions;
  • Organize of a closing workshop that will gather the SRFC and Morocco representatives in order to discuss the results of the project.