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The International Symposium on Marine Fisheries, Ecosystems and Societies in West Africa - Half a century of change, Dakar, Senegal, 24-28 June 2002
Concern over the possible overexploitation of fisheries resources in the North Atlantic was first raised some 100 years ago, in 1903, when the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea was created to provide scientific advice to managers in view of remedial action. Today, it is estimated that overall marine biomass in that part of the world represents as little as between 5% and 10% of what it was then. The combined impact of over fishing, technological advances and pollution - the second of these factors enabling us to exploit almost every corner of our oceans now - has led us to a situation in which the stability and, indeed, the very fabric of our marine ecosystems is under threat, not only in the North Atlantic, but in other seas as well. This is clearly disastrous in environmental terms. And, just as importantly, it is also a potential and sometimes very real tragedy in economic and social terms.
The fishing industry in Western Africa is an important source of food not only for the people in the region, but well beyond. It is also an important provider of revenue and employment and a mainstay of many local communities. In recognition of the importance of fishing to their societies and economies, six West African countries - Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, and Senegal - decided to join forces to address the challenge of responsible management of marine resources within the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission (SRFC).

Additional information

Authors: No author stated, European Commission, DG Research, Brussels (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 21126 EN (2005), 20 pp. Free of charge
Availability: EUR-OP reference: KI-NA-21126-EN-C Available from: Documentation Service of DG Research Fax: +32 2 295 8220 E-mail:
ISBN: ISBN 92-894-9166-3
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