West African journalists urge ministers to reach agreement with EU

Afrique en Ligne West African journalists at the ongoing African Union Ministers’ Conference on Fisheries and Aquaculture (CAMFA) in The Gambian capital, Banjul, on Wednesday called on government officials to reach an agreement with the European Union (EU) on sensitive issues, including illegal fishing, responsible fishing, migration and post-harvest fishing.

Members of the Network of West African Journalists on Responsible Fishing were trained ahead of the meeting and they are participating in the discussion.

Speaking to PANA, a Nigerian journalist, Mr. Emeka Umejeil of the Daily Independent newspaper in Lagos, said it was expected that at the end of the conference, ministers would be able to take a firm stance in signing an agreement with most European fishing companies, with a view to ascertaining such agreement that would develop the fisheries sector of African countries.

Umejeil said the journalists’ training, which ended ahead of the conference, was a good development and had exposed the challenges facing artisan fishing in the sub-region.

‘We have been armed with knowledge and information on fisheries development in our own countries,’ he said.

He also urged the network to get back to their various countries with a view to increasing the awareness on the challenges facing artisan fishing.

Papa Adama Mboge, Regional Coordinator in Senegal, said this was the first time the network was organising such a training, adding that the purpose was to ensure that journalists were equipped with adequate information and knowledge to increase awareness on artisan fishing as well as discuss issues that could lead to the improvement of the fishing industry.

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