Improving market access for small scale fisheries in West Africa

Start Date 
End Date 

Improving market access for small scale fisheries in West Africa

The main objective of this project is to provide an appropriate response to the challenge of hygiene and food safety inherent in fishery products, with the aim of boosting the development of the artisanal fisheries sub-sector through an improved access to International markets and its exposure to new investments. This project aims to facilitate access to the European market, considered as the most difficult to access, for the artisanal fisheries products of the four target countries, through capacity building activities to overcome sanitary and phytosanitary barriers.

This objective will be achieved through: 1) Capacity building of target institutions in the application of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards. 2) Facilitating access to international markets for target beneficiaries, South-North and South-South cooperation, and transfer of technology and good practices in the artisanal fisheries sector.

A session "SPS Assistance for Development: the case for French - Speaking Africa" organized jointly by the Permanent Missions of Canada and France, and the STDF looked at lessons learned from this project. 


As a strategic sector for development and the fight against poverty in West Africa, fisheries are an essential element for economic growth and balance of payments. It also contributes to food security and job creation while encouraging the entry of foreign currency through exports and fisheries agreements. In West Africa, the fisheries sector employs more than 3 million full-time workers, which corresponds to more than 10% of the working population. Most of these jobs are related to the artisanal fisheries sector. The production of coastal resources in West Africa is estimated at 2, 936, 552 tonnes, worth more than $ 2 billion, and export is only 330,664 tonnes ($ 750 million) toward the European Union. The majority of primary production exported to the EU is produced by artisanal fisheries (75% in Senegal), with the exception of Côte d'Ivoire, where the vast majority of exports come from industrial tuna fishing, exported Frozen or processed. At the same time, the region shows high levels of interregional trade in fishery products, due to very different levels of consumption per person (apparent consumption varying from 1.2 kg in Guinea Bissau to 28.6 kg in Ghana) and the availability of different fishery products. Industrial fishing is conducted in EEZs, although reports on IUU fishing increasingly report irruptions in the forbidden coastal strip, particularly by trawlers targeting demersal species.

The artisanal fisheries of the countries of the West African region are characterized by micro-enterprises which operate mainly with pirogues in the coastal areas and in the numerous lagoons of the region, but which are able to travel hundreds of kilometers in the countries of the region. Artisanal fisheries account for the majority of production although there are many industrial fishing vessels flying the flag of African, European or Other industrialized countries.
The integration of artisanal fishermen into international markets represents an opportunity to improve the living conditions of its operators and, at the same time, to stimulate the qualitative development of production from the point of view of, inter alia, safety Food and SPS standards.

Despite the fact that the artisanal fisheries sector is a key sector with great development opportunities in the four countries, it is important to note that each country has specific issues relating to fisheries sector management and The application of SPS measures at the national level. This is why the project, in its strategy, will pay a lot of attention to the balance of requirements and consumptions in the local markets of the specific target species of artisanal fisheries.

Expected Results 

Output 1. The skills and capacities of local institutional counterparts in the area of SPS measures are strengthened through the implementation of specific training activities aimed at broad dissemination and better knowledge of SPS protocols for product safety and quality some fishing ;

Outcome 2. The technical capacity of private actors in the artisanal fisheries sector and the professional organization of the sector are improved in the countries concerned for access to international markets. This resulted from the reorganization of selected value chains at the local level (for greater efficiency and demonstrative purposes) and on the reorganization of the professional structures of artisanal fishermen and other associated tradesmen (fishmongers , Smokers, etc.) on the other hand.

Outcome 3. Opportunities for partnership, investment and transfer of technology in the artisanal fisheries sector of the target countries are identified and promoted through the organization of initiatives to encourage business partnerships, on the one hand , And the strengthening of productive capacities through the promotion of technological innovation and best professional practices on the other.

At present, all the activities planned during the launch phase have been carried out. The members of the project coordination teams in the field were appointed and the support staff recruited; The steering committee was set up; National action plans are being finalized by national partners; The modalities for monitoring and collecting baseline data for future evaluation are defined and validated by national partners and national policies have been reviewed. In addition, the donor's visibility strategies, the fight against gender discrimination and the governance and coordination of the project were defined and validated by the partners during the first regional consultation committee held in Dakar On 16 and 17 February 2016.
Since the last STDF Working Group Session, training activities have started in the 4 countries. In Senegal and Mauritania: one training for fisherfolks from the artisanal and semi-traditional value chains and fish processors, and another one for staff of the Competent Authorities and institutions responsible for fish quality inspection and export certification, were implemented. In Cote d’Ivoire, a participatory training and awareness rising for quality management personnel of fish export factories addressed the planning and implementation of Master Plan for Health (PMS), and Good Hygienic Practices (GHPs), and HACCP norms and standards for export to the EU (Reg. EC 852/2004). Through the technical assistance of Halieus to support organizational capacity building for the artisanal fisheries value chain producers and exporters and an innovative mentor supervision approach for exporters, educational materials will be consolidated and used to make more efficient and continuous trainings. Finally, in Guinea, the first activity aimed to better define the priorities of future training activities. In addition, the second mission to prepare and start the implementation of a pilot action in San Pedro, Cote d’Ivoire; and a study tour approach with the aim to reach a wider range of beneficiaries in Senegal whereby more than 250 people will participate instead of inviting participants to localized trainings took place.
For monitoring and evaluation of the project results and impact, updated baseline and targets including reporting on project activities was established in accordance with the project logical framework. Finally, a promotional video is planned to document and disseminate the STDF-UNIDO intervention approach of SPS capacity building, and the project results and services for artisanal to export value chain development.

Reference Number 
Project Value (US$) 
STDF Contribution (US$)  
Côte d'Ivoire
Implementing Entities 
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)