The ATLAFCO Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation among African States bordering the Atlantic Ocean was held on November 7-8, 2023, in Casablanca, Morocco. This year’s meeting, which was the 33rd, focused on the theme of “The Oceans in Peril: Taking Action Against Global Plastic Pollution.”
At the meeting, participants discussed the challenges and opportunities of preventing and reducing plastic pollution in the Atlantic Ocean. They also considered the role of fisheries and aquaculture in promoting sustainable ocean management, and the need to strengthen cooperation among African states to address these challenges.
A number of key decisions were made at the meeting, including:
- The adoption of a Declaration on the Oceans in Peril: Taking Action Against Global Plastic Pollution.
- The establishment of a Task Force on Sustainable Aquaculture.
- The launch of a new project to support the development of regional fisheries observer programs.
The meeting was attended by representatives from 21 African countries, as well as representatives from the European Union, FAO, and other international organizations.
The ATLAFCO (COMHAFAT in French) Meeting is a key forum for African states to discuss and address shared challenges related to fisheries and aquaculture. The meeting’s focus on plastic pollution this year reflects the growing importance of this issue for the health of the oceans and the livelihoods of coastal communities.
The decisions made at the meeting will help to guide efforts to prevent and reduce plastic pollution in the Atlantic Ocean, and to promote sustainable ocean management.
Here are some of the key outcomes of the meeting:
- Adoption of the Declaration on the Oceans in Peril: Taking Action Against Global Plastic Pollution: The Declaration reaffirms the commitment of African states to address plastic pollution in the Atlantic Ocean, and outlines a number of actions that will be taken to achieve this goal.
- Establishment of the Task Force on Sustainable Aquaculture: The Task Force will be responsible for developing and implementing a strategy for promoting sustainable aquaculture in Africa.
- Launch of the project to support the development of regional fisheries observer programs: The project will provide funding and technical support to African countries to develop and implement fisheries observer programs.
The COMHAFAT Meeting is an important step forward in the fight against p