Comments from the plenary: Emerging Issues during the ICSTD Meeting at Nyali Beach Hotel, Mombasa, Kenya on 9th & 10th Feb. 2010.
Participants supported the need for signing EU-ACP EPA : Issues identified: • Problem on capacity building: • National fleet capacity & development plan including subsidies hence competitive advantage of EU fleets. • MCS • Stakeholders awareness on EPA • Weaknesses of negotiators (technical capacity, inadequacy in numbers; affect equivalency in standards) • Overfishing in the context of subsidies; need to invest in aquaculture. State of play in IEPA/EPA/WTO negotiations and fishery-related issues
Regional integration: issues of sovereignty & overlap of organizations. • Global recession & climate change issues. • Re-writing of policies • enhancing competitiveness & change in institutions; could have bearing on EPAs. • Many products not allowed in EU market with no scientific evidence. • Piracy in Indian ocean. • Need to harmonize standards for local/regional & export markets.
Value chains and value-addition in ACP-EU trade in fisheries • Market determines resources & targets certain assets more than others since we are in the situation of overexploitation. • Fish quality determines pricing of products. • Analyses need to bring about balance in actors of fishing industry & give value addition. • Purpose in Africa: enrich local people especially with socio-economic benefits of fishers.
Policies in EU-ACP should focus on difficulties of problems of value-additions. • Satisfactions of the consumers need to be considered, but not only for fish & fish products: • need for better distribution of benefits. • Need to win battle of durability & quality in the practice to have a win in the market. • initial value of product could change depending on stages of the product.
Need for improving public-private sector dialogue considering • market rules, e.g. at a local level what could be the expectations in relation to target markets? • sustainable use of resources, • profits and environmental factors. • Need to highlight food safety in relation to value or quality • Value of fish is increasing while quantity is decreasing!
Importance of SPS measures to fisheries negotiations in EPAs • EPA meant to achieve economic development, poverty reduction & trade development. • Problem is EU requirements are becoming stricter with increase in technology; & ACP countries lack resources. • Impact of requirements then falls onto public & private sector relationships in terms of: • sanitary issues & food safety on fish that are mandatory, • despite EU being a competitor under same rules (equivalency). • need to value the question of food barriers since standards of same product varies among participants; proper database on inspections for ACP countries. • hence need for more research & infrastructure.
and establishment of sustainable funding and management mechanism for fisheries sector. • Need for development annex that could develop a platform for negotiations of EPAs such as infrastructure development & capacity building.
Rules of Origin for Fish and Fish Products • No incentives for local investment for IEPA in the RoO. • Challenge: Concern or opportunity for renegotiation of RoO e.g. for Value-added based methodology, legal uncertainty etc. • UNCLOS, FAO, Tuna Commission fundamental bodies in RoO; Determinant of RoO is an issue. • Competency of organizations in the EAC in terms of the procedure is wanting. • Signing of the common market in EAC would enrich RoO of even products from within. • Different criteria depending on the country basing on definition of RoO depending on market programs. • Of concern is conservation and Value-addition.
Recommendation is how we can act, at what level to harmonize the criteria. • Some factors in ACP include low temperatures for conserving tuna and time; no facilities in most countries hence affecting RoO in most countries. • Meaning the RoO appears to be a barrier other than a developmental agenda. • RoO skewed towards the EU; why can’t ACP governments sell fish originating from their EEZ? It seems EU, USA etc are only concerned with obtaining the raw materials of fish for secondary processing! • Hence need for review/revist of the RoO since there was no full negotiations on RoO.
Access Agreements on Fisheries • Importance of agreements varies depending on countries e.g. financial compensation, research etc. • It would be better if financial agreements be after development of fisheries sector and create accessibility to resources. • Agreements depend on how good in negotiating you are, sustainability of stocks, local-value addition-based negotiations, market access & local crew capacity building. • Clarity on regulations & mechanisms on by-catch, discards & licensing on TAC & Environmental Impact Assessment from long distant fleets could be explored; need to assess transboundary stocks. • Hence need for fisheries subsidies in IEPA context that are reflected in agreements.
Capacity of people leading discussions on agreements could be limited; hence need for training of people who negotiate. • Need for consciousness on the fishing capacity that is compatible with stock, e.g. Tuna mainly fished by distant fishing nations hence it appears difficult to talk about country agreement but rather regional. • Use our efforts to develop industries through partnership that will harness technology & capital for the ACP countries. • Need to come with National Fleets Development Plans for ACP countries.
Opportunities and Challenges for intra-ACP trade in fish and fishery products • Good governance required to aid in management of fishery sector, hence enabling legislation for sustainable fisheries management. • “Open access” to be replaced with “controlled access” coupled with community participation in the management of fishery for sustainability of raw materials. • Postharvest losses reduced through legislation. • Need for good flow chain or processes under regional trade of the fish products to maintain nutritional value in conjunction with sanitary standards. • Need for capacity building for technical knowhow. • Poor infrastructure, communication & non-tariff barriers.
Need for trade negotiations & trade-making. • Need for appropriate financial systems & uprooting of corruption. • Need for development banks for funding coupled with access to credit facilities e.g. for aquaculture development. • Reliable data & access to information required. • Need to seek good models for resource management, e.g. Namibia, Singapore, Mauritius, Korea & Japan models. • Investment in co-operation & partnership to utilize our masses/market in ACP together with reduction of beaurocracy.
Strengthening regional and sub-regional mechanisms for sustainability in the fishery sector • Fisheries not prioritized in national planning. • Co-management attempt in place (BMUs). • Need for a proper-right system to be in place. • Need for sustainable funding for research for data to inform management, i.e. stock assessment. • Capture fisheries is declining in addition to the degradation of the environment. • Illegal fishing is taking place hence a threat; need for centralized MCS. • Corruption in fisheries need to be addressed. • Employment of locals required. • Eco-labeling to be addressed
Need for appropriate legal framework and change objective of resource partnership to sustainability, coupled with UNCLOS requirements. • Need to renegotiate on fisheries agreements. • Piracy concerns. • Overcapacity. • Policy issues to be put in pace e.g. for subsidies, pollution etc. • EIA applicability for complimentary industries to fish such as oil and gas production. • Issues of climate change to be also addressed.
Need to share our information & experiences with other countries. • Need for regional co-ordination framework. • Push for recommendation of review of RoO and other frameworks • Lobbying for fisheries organizations/bodies to deliver. • Need for by-catch mitigation; need for a legal framework.
Recommendations and suggestions towards EPA negotiations • Revisit the issue of fish caught in the EEZ under UNCLOS. • Further processing to be an initiative in tuna processing plants. • Focus on the change of rules of origin as they are in chapter 16. • Current irrigation to be reviewed and mechanism increased annually to allow for local processors and also to focus on temporary irrigation. • Certification of the rules for leasing and if the current ones are applied, we need to be given a time line. • Leasing of commercial fishing vessels allowed but under notification.
Need for Eco-labeling. • Renegotiate the rules of origin. • Put our house in order ourselves as ACP. • Develop consistent policies for management. • Market management to be addressed. • Develop a good business environment • Increase value addition of food produced. • Capacity building. • Take stock of what is available. • New suggestions on trade-imbalance. • Liberalization of trade rules reinforced through financial assistance, education awareness among members. • Fishing licenses given based on scientific evidence. Since sustainability is not a destination, but it is a process.
Umbrella bodies to be formed inter-regionally and solve problems through bottom-up approach. • Start exporting also to African markets to offer competitive scenarios. • Inspection and training services to be offered at a regional/ sub-regional basis. • Have early warning systems for climate change and other international monitoring systems. • Improve on safety and work on harmonization of the same. • Developing an African fisheries policy. • Develop communication strategy through the African Union website. • Regional minimum terms and conditions during the regional meetings. • Need for actual implementation rather than talking. • Need for prioritize the requests like technical assistance.