The FiTI would be launched at an international one-day conference in Mauritania’s capital, Nouakchott, which is expected to convene about 200 representatives from governments, companies, civil society and international organizations.
Other countries may commit to the initiative.
According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), better management at global levels could end over-fishing and rebuild depleted fish stocks, increasing the global catch by about 20 per cent to nearly 100 million tons each year.
Larger catches, in turn, could generate more jobs, food security and trade – critical issues for many developing countries.
According to the FiTI, fish is a major source of food in West Africa and fisheries provide jobs for an estimated 25 per cent of the population in the region which is chronically food-insecure.
The lack of transparency in fisheries sectors all around the world however, has been a major obstacle to progress, facilitating corruption, poor management, and over-fishing.
“Boosting transparency will increase understanding of our fisheries and is vital for civil society oversight. More transparency will facilitate better, more responsible and sustainable management”, the FiTI says.
Confirmed speakers at the launch of the FiTI include José Graziano Da Silva, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Peter Eigen, Founder of Transparency International and Founding Chair of the Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI); Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania; and Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden.
By Emmanuel Odonkor