Regional Convention On Fisheries Cooperation Among African States Bordering The Atlantic Ocean

The Regional Convention on Fisheries Cooperation among African States bordering the Atlantic Ocean (Dakar Convention) was adopted by the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation among African States Bordering the Atlantic Ocean (COMHAFAT/ATLAFCO) on 5 July 1991 and entered into force on 11 August 1995. The COMHAFAT is an African Regional Fishery Body. The Director-General of the FAO is the depositary of this Convention.

Objectives and approach

The objectives of this Convention shall be to enable Parties:

    (a) to promote an active and organized cooperation in the area of fisheries management and development in the Region;

    (b) to take up the challenge of food selfsufficiency through the rational utilization of fishery resources, within the context of an integrated approach that would embrace all the components of the fishing sector;

    (c) to stimulate the national economic sectors through the direct and secondary effects resulting from fishery resources exploitation, bearing in mind the importance of the fisheries sector in the economic, social and nutritional development process of the people of the Region;

    (d) to enhance, coordinate and harmonize their efforts and capabilities for the purpose of conserving, exploiting, upgrading and marketing fishery resources, considering in particular fish stocks occurring within the waters under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of more than one Party;

    (e) to reinforce solidarity with African landlocked States and geographically disadvantaged States of the Region.

Institutional structure

The Convention is structured with:

  • The Conference of Ministers. This is the governing and decision making body with respect to fisheries cooperation among the Parties. It shall hold a regular session once every two years and a special seesion at the request of a majority of the Parties;
  • The Bureau. This is the coordinating body of the Conference of Ministers; and
  • The Secretariat. This is the executive body.
Work areas

The Convention mainly focuses its work on fisheries and marine resources management and conservation in the African Countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean.