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Launch of the Indian Ocean Federation of Fisherfolk

October 20, 2015
  • East Africa

Fisherfolk from the Indian Ocean islands - Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius (including Rodrigues), Reunion and the Seychelles - have officially come together to form a federation for the sustainable and responsible management of artisanal fisheries in the southwest Indian Ocean. Created on the 8th October 2015, the federation will allow professional fisherfolk to participate in effective and informed decision-making processes about the management of fisheries in the region. 

FPAOI 9000Executive Board of the Indian Ocean Federation of Fisherfolk

The creation of the Indian Ocean Federation of Fisherfolk (FPAOI) is the result of 2 years of preparation and consultations with the region’s fisherfolk associations, and has been supported by the SmartFish programme of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), which is financed by the European Union. The FPAOI was officially launched by Wallace Cosgrow, the Seychelles’ Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture; its headquarters are located in Reunion Island and its presidency will be held initially by the Seychelles. 

In the Indian Ocean islands, fisheries are amongst the five greatest contributors to GDP providing around 130,000 direct jobs, predominantly in the small-scale fisheries sub-sector. Artisanal fisheries provide considerable potential for socio-economic development in the region. Moreover, the role of fisherfolk in alleviating poverty and enhancing food security has been the object of international guidelines adopted by the FAO in 2014.

The new FPAOI will provide a platform for supporting the exchange of good practices and enabling technical cooperation between professionals in the region. Structuring of the new federation will therefore continue over the coming months to build on its foundations and promote its recognition by the different IOC member states and to the various regional organisations active in the fisheries sector.

CTA, which participated in the FPAOI launch workshop in the Seychelles from 6 to 8 October, shared its experience in supporting similar networks. In particular, Mitchell Lay, the president of the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organizations (CNFO) invited to the workshop by CTA, presented CNFO's achievements to the Indian Ocean fishermen. CTA subsequently discussed the possibilities for supporting the development of FPAOI in terms of capacity building, advocacy, knowledge management and communication.

Learn more (available only in French)

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