The Government of Eritrea requested assistance from MRAG, through the BritishGovernment’s Department for International Development (DFID), to provide practical guidance for the further development of fishery policies, institutional development and fishery management systems. Following the establishment of a number of Fisheries Agreements between the Government of Eritrea and foreign fishing interests a number of fisheries became established within the EEZ. These fisheries targeted shrimp, lobster, sharks, pelagic and demersal species (particularly lizard fish, threadfin bream and snappers). However it was apparent that a number of opportunities for maximising revenues and for developing new fisheries (for example to target small pelagic species) were not being maximised. MRAG was contracted to :
1. Collate and synthesise data on the marine environment, fisheries biology,
fisheries law and policy, and human resources within the Ministry of Marine
Resources, with reference to how these might interact with the restructuring of
the fisheries sector and the further involvement of foreign fishing fleets.
2. Provide an assessment of the potential financial benefits from foreign
fishing activity with an indication of the costs of securing those benefits
(including monitoring, control and surveillance);
3. Advise on the general need for and structure of legal instruments (laws,
regulations, terms and conditions of access), particularly for the control of
foreign fishing, and the effects on the scale and speed of fisheries
development and management.
4. Provide recommendations on the institutional and administrative practices
required to ensure appropriate management of foreign fishing activity including
recommendations on data collection, information technology, institutional
arrangements and training.
5. To recommend the structure and contents of access agreements for foreign
fishing vessels. This included an examination of different types of access fee
(licenses, royalties, etc) and outlines of the necessary fisheries issues and
other civil and institutional linkages.
MRAG prepared and presented a non-confidential Manual and Guidelines for the Administration of Foreign Fishing Licensing and Operations. The Manual includes comprehensive details on licensing foreign fleets from initial contact through to the granting of a licence. The Manual also includes details on the collection of catch and effort data required for the scientific management of the fishery and means by which to assess the optimal economic benefit that might be derived from the fishery. It also includes a general outline document for the conduct of negotiations for foreign access with foreign companies or joint venture partnerships.