The Benin government plans to increase annual aquaculture production to 800,000 tons by 2033, officials said on Tuesday.
To this end, the government has decided to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, said Gaston Dossouhoui, Benin’s minister of agriculture, livestock and fisheries, during the celebration of World Fisheries Day 2023.
Fisheries provide a livelihood for thousands of families across Benin, and the annual production over the last five years has yet to cover the needs of the country’s population, he said at the event in So-Ava, a lakeside town near the Beninese capital of Cotonou.
The fishing community must abandon small-mesh gear and non-biodegradable monofilament nets, and adopt recommended methods that leave a legacy rich in fisheries resources for future generations, said Gaston Djihinto, secretary-general of the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea.
“Artisanal fishing plays a crucial role in creating jobs and ensuring food security,” he said.
World Fisheries Day in Benin this year is to defend the rights of artisanal fishing communities in the context of sustainable fishing and recognize the essential role of fisheries in food security.