Traditional fishing is an important source of economic activity in the impoverished West African nation of Guinea, where the European Commission's Food Facility has undertaken a project to boost the sector through awareness, training and provision of better equipment.
Guinea has a population of 9.5 million, some 90,000 of whom are thought to work in the fishing sector either bringing in the catch or processing the fish that are landed.
The EC-funded Programme to Support Artisanal Fishing (PADUP) seeks to improve the lives of those living in some of Guinea’s coastal fishing communities and to contribute to their food security by helping them to increase their catch, fish in a more sustainable manner, avoid waste and improve processing of fish products.
“This project exists to reinforce the capacity of artisanal fishing communities,” said Damou Keita, the PADUP Project Director, “with the view of raising the potential for the fishing community to increase their revenue from its existing levels to improve the lives of their families and their community.”
To find out more about this project, watch and hear from some of the people involved by playing the video below.
Guinea’s artisanal fishermen head out to sea in brightly painted wooden canoes that are open to the elements and are not equipped with any navigational or fish-tracking equipment.
The EC project is building on the long-established skills of these communities by formalising existing informal groups to establish 162 cooperatives in six locations on the Guinea coast.
Through the cooperatives, fishermen will be given training on sustainable fishing practices and will receive support to improve their fishing canoes and the equivalent of one out-board motor engine per cooperative.
The women who work alongside the fishermen smoking and curing the catch for sale on local markets will also receive assistance in the form of a donation of 150 curing ovens as well as training on efficient curing techniques, storage and marketing of their fish products.