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Why Africa’s small-scale fisheries “may not count” by Shem Oirere November 26,2020   |  Source: SeafoodSource

Despite the huge potential of Africa’s small-scale fisheries to boost the region’s food security, ramp up nutritional levels, alleviate poverty, and enhance environmental conservation, decision-makers across the continent have given the sector little attention – largely because of inadequate data to support its potential role in sustainable development.

John Virdin, the director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, is hoping to change the perception of Africa's small-scale fisheries as part of a continuing partnership with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. Both institutions recently signed an agreement to carry out an assessment and promotion of the role of small-scale fisheries in African society, and to work to enhance the sector’s contribution to the continent's sustainable development.

“The old adage that ‘what isn’t counted doesn’t count’ sometimes seems to apply to fisheries policy in a number of countries throughout the region,” Virdin told SeafoodSource.

The main objective of the partnership, which was announced on 9 October 2020 during a virtual event hosted by FAO’s office in Washington, D.C., is to “create solid evidence base for


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