Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – Representatives from the government, fishing communities, civil society and private sector gathered in Abidjan on September 13th to discuss ways to improve transparency in Côte d’Ivoire’s fisheries sector. The workshop was part of the final phase of a three-year project funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Vibrant Oceans Initiative and coordinated by CEMLAWS Africa in partnership with the Centre de Recherches Oceanologiques(CRO).
Over the past two years, the project has conducted research and stakeholder consultations to analyze challenges in the fisheries sector and opportunities to promote accountability and sustainable practices. Project findings presented at the workshop highlighted issues such as insufficient monitoring and enforcement of regulations, lack of reliable data collection systems and limited collaboration between government agencies and fishing communities. Participants praised the project for bringing much needed attention to fisheries governance and called for continued stakeholder engagement.
Government representatives expressed commitment to implementing recommended reforms.Several concrete next steps were proposed, including establishing community oversight committees and improving licensing and catch reporting procedures. Civil society groups welcomed these steps and stressed the importance of independent monitoring.
As the project concluded, participants agreed that collaboration between all sectors is essential to enhance transparency and curb unsustainable fishing. CRO Director Marcel Kokou announced plans to continue engaging stakeholders and monitoring progress on the workshop recommendations. Overall, the dissemination event was seen as highly successful in fostering discussion around fisheries challenges and building consensus around solutions.