Recognising that in large LME’s of the West Indian Ocean
- We have one of the last areas where fishing activities are largely unregulated
- There is inadequate capacity or effective institutional framework to exercise jurisdiction over the 200 EEZ of most countries.
- There is a lack of reliable information about the nature, size and potential harvest of living resources.
- The relationship between the environment and fish abundance is neither understood nor predictable.
- There is inadequate information on the potential threats to the environment as a result of fishing activities.
Further noting that
- There is inadequate regional collaboration to ensure wise management of resources, especially transboundary species.
- Lessons learnt from other fishery regions elsewhere indicate that sharing of data and management responsibilities are essential to avoiding stock collapse.
- There are already a number of related initiatives underway in the region.
It is hereby agreed that participating countries will develop a long-term programme that will
- Develop a national position towards this project, including administrative and legal mechanisms
- Forge close collaboration and partnerships between fishery, academic and other relevant institutions of participating countries
- Generate baseline information on the quantitative and qualitative aspects of resources and fishing effort in the defined study region.
- Investigate the relationship between fisheries and the environment.
- Contribute to the effective human and institutional capacity building to assist in the long-term management of resources.
- Develop a common resource management strategy, including an ecosystem approach, which will guarantee sustainable use of the region’s living marine resources.
- Adopt harmonized legislation that will facilitate regional management.
- Develop fishery-linked revenue-generating schemes that will underpin the long-term management of resources.
- Adequate capacity and institutional frameworks exist that will regionally ensure that the living marine resources of the WIO can be sustainably used with associated socio-economic benefits accruing to the participating countries of the region.