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Regional Training Workshop On Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management Using The Ecopath With Ecosim (EWE)

Introduction
The International Conference on the Sustainable Contribution of Fisheries to Food Security was held in Kyoto Japan, from 04 to 09 December 1995. The declaration issued from the Conference, the Kyoto Declaration, was essentially focused on the way forward to a new approach to fisheries management.

The Alineas (3) of the “Action Plan” emphasizes that States have “to conduct, within their competencies, and where appropriate, in cooperation with regional and other intergovernmental organizations, integrated assessments of fisheries in order to evaluate opportunities and strengthen the scientific basis for multispecies and ecosystem-based management” of fisheries.

The main focus of the fisheries component of the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME) Project is the “Recovery and Sustainability of Depleted Fisheries and Marine Living Resources, including Mariculture”. The strategic framework put in place to achieve this objective includes the application of ecosystem-based fisheries management, which will guarantee a healthy and fully functioning ecosystem and consequently the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources in the region.

By applying ecosystem-based management in fisheries, one tackles the three key issues of multispecies fisheries management, trophic interactions and ecosystem conservation. An added advantage in this approach, especially when using the Ecopath with Ecosim suite of models, is that they allow ecology, economic and social aspects to be brought together to explore the bio-socio-economics of the sustainable management of marine ecosystem resources.

It is for these reasons that the GCLME Project organized the Regional Training Workshop on Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management using the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) Model, from 18-22 April 2006.

Objectives

  1. To train participants on the use of the ecosystem model, Ecopath, with emphasis on data requirements, mass-balance modeling, parameter estimation, addressing uncertainties and performing social and economic analysis;
  2. To underline the importance of a time-dynamic simulation using Ecosim for bio-socio-economic policy exploration;
  3. To outline and explore the capabilities of the spatial-dynamic simulation using Ecospace;
  4. To extend the training on new development of the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) suite of models.

Outputs

  1. Economical, ecological and social consequences of increasing fishing effort mitigated;
  2. Impacts of fisheries, competitors and environmental changes on population trends of threatened species known;
  3. Potential impact of a proposed protected area simulated;
  4. Multispecies management under multispecies fisheries implemented;
  5. Existence of a network in ecosystem-based fisheries management in the GCLME reg

Participants

A total of 26 Participants including national experts in fisheries and related sciences from all the sixteen GCLME member countries attended the Workshop (see Annex 2 for List of Participants. The Consultants for the Workshop were Prof. Rashid Sumalia and Prof. Villy Christensen, both of the Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Opening Ceremony

The opening of the Regional Training Workshop on Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management using the EwE Model, held in the Conference Room of the Regional Coordination Unit of the GCLME Project, Accra on 18th April 2006 at 9:30am, was performed by the Deputy Minister for Fisheries, Mr. Daniel Dugan and chaired by Mr. Alfred Tetebou, Director of Fisheries.
The Regional Director, Prof. Chidi Ibe, complimented the diverse expertise assembled as participants and resource persons. He urged the scientists to share with their colleagues in the region, knowledge acquired from the Training Workshop, to promote the application of the EwE concept in the sustainable management of marine ecosystem resources. He welcomed the Deputy Minister for Fisheries, Mr. Daniel Dugan and Director for Fisheries and expressed appreciation for their Ministry’s support to GCLME project activities.

Mr. Daniel Dugan, the Deputy Minister for Fisheries noted that the Training Workshop was being organized at an opportune time, when the region was confronted with overexploitation of its fisheries stocks. The sustainability of marine resources had inspired scientists to develop new approaches to fisheries management including scientific models such as Ecopath with Ecosim. He emphasized the advantages of using the Ecopath with Ecosim suite of models and urged scientists to translate the concept into practical situations that reflect positively on local fishermen and their families who depend on marine resources for survival. and Science underlined the importance of the trans-boundary approach in solving the problem of pollution in the region. She asked participants to take advantage of partnerships to build regional capacity to fully address transboundary environmental challenges, using appropriate techniques and strategies. She stated that this Workshop provided a platform for discussing the strengths and weaknesses in developing such sector specific policies to fully address these challenges (Annex 5).

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