Report of the Study on Problems and Prospects of Artisanal Fish Trade in West Africa

The study was undertaken by the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF). The request for the study came from fish processors and traders, as well as from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in the region. The study focused on the following countries: Guinea-Conakry, Senegal, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Gambia and Ivory Coast. These countries were selected for three reasons: one, they are either important producers or consumers of fish; two, there are fishworker organizations or NGOs who were keen to collaborate with the study in these countries; and three, there already exist significant trade links between these countries. Along with an analysis of secondary data relevant to artisanal fish trade in the region, primary data was collected to obtain information on important regional fish markets and trade circuits, on wholesalers and traders engaged in regional trade, and on artisanal fish processors catering to the regional market. Information was collected primarily through individual interviews with women processors and traders in important markets and processing areas, and through meetings with processors and traders in larger groups, at markets and in their villages.

Part I of this report has been organized as follows: Section I seeks to highlight the importance of artisanal fish processing and trading activities in the West African context. Section II summarizes the initiatives that have been taken to promote intra-regional trade in the West African region. Section III provides a brief overview of fish processing and trading activities in the region. In Section IV the problems and constraints that are experienced by women fish processors and cross-border traders in their work are synthesized. And finally, Section V provides recommendations to policy-makers for strengthening artisanal fish processing and trading activities. The report draws heavily from secondary sources, supplementing it with observations and primary level data collected during the course of the study. The second part of the report contains case studies of selected fish processing areas, fish trading circuits and fish markets in selected countries of the West African region. It also includes case studies of some women fish processors and traders from the region.


Report with Maps

Report without Maps