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Interview with Fernando Frutuoso de Melo

Director-General for Development Cooperation at the European Commission

July 9, 2014

The latest Agritrade interview is with Mr. Fernando Frutuoso de Melo, Director-General for Development Cooperation at the European Commission and focuses on the new EC approach on ACP-EU fisheries relations and in particular how fisheries and aquaculture can contribute to reach the EU Cooperation and Development objectives for food security. This interview is part of a series of regular in-depth interviews with ACP and EU policy makers, trade experts, private sector representatives and other stakeholders involved in trade policy and value chain development.

Mr Frutuoso de Melo has long-standing European experience, having held various positions within several EU institutions. From 1987 he was Deputy Director-General of DG Human Resources and Security and Deputy Head of the Private Office of President Barroso. Since 1st November 2013, Mr Frutuoso de Melo has held the position of Director-General of DG Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid (DEVCO).

Q: What is the significance of fisheries in EU Cooperation and Development policy?

We think fisheries have an important role to play because fish contributes directly to the diet of many people in developing countries. According to the last FAO report on the state of World Fisheries and Aquaculture, fisheries also represent a crucial source of revenue for 12% of the world's population – many of them women – hence the EU Cooperation and Development policy support to sustainable fishing and aquaculture in developing countries. During 2007–2013, some €185 million has been committed to fisheries, mainly through regional programmes, as in the Pacific and in the Indian Ocean.

However, we note that, with some exceptions (e.g. Mozambique, Algeria, Yemen), fisheries have not been identified as part of the national priorities for cooperation and development, even in countries where the sector plays a key role for food security and economic growth.