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Diagnosis of aquaculture employment governance in selected African countries











Menezes, A., Ligeon, C., Murekezi, P. & Jolly, C. 2024. Diagnosis of aquaculture employment governance in selected African countries. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper, No. 715. Rome.




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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Synthesis of the report: Diagnosis of aquaculture employment governance in selected African countries 2024
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    The brochure highlights the key issues to ensure that decision-makers in the public and private sectors are aware of and understand the importance of governance of aquaculture employment and the fair treatment of aquaculture workers in improving aquaculture development and sustainability in selected African countries.
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    Book (series)
    Improving governance of aquaculture employment: a global assessment 2014
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    Effective governance of modern aquaculture must reconcile ecological and human wellbeing so that the industry is sustainable over time. Without effective governance, there will be misallocation of resources, and perhaps stagnation of the industry, irreversible environmental damage, and social unrest. An important component of human wellbeing is the treatment of the workers in the industry. The aim of this study, which was recommended by FAO Members during the Fourth Session of the FAO COFI Sub- Committee on Aquaculture held in Puerto Varas, Chile, in 2008, is to contribute to the understanding of governance in aquaculture employment so as to suggest potential improvements where necessary. A dozen farms and jurisdictions in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe were reviewed for their employment practices. Information on employment characteristics, such as educational background, gender and remuneration, was obtained from farms by survey. The aim is to evaluate whether workers in aquacu lture are treated according to the law, and are paid at a rate equal to those in similar sectors. The creation of employment appears to be a decisive factor in public perceptions of the aquaculture industry, as indicated in attitudinal studies. The conclusions of this report suggest that aquaculture has benefited the overall socio-economic conditions of the areas in which it operates. The industry has provided jobs, particularly non-seasonal jobs. These have enabled young people to stay in their communities, enhancing the economic viability of isolated areas. Total remuneration levels in all of the enterprises surveyed were at, or above, the minimum wage, and usually above wages in alternative sectors. Farms also provided indirect benefits, such as medical and pension coverage, and in some cases, bonuses. Attitudinal surveys indicate that these benefits are appreciated by the local population. However, there are negative aspects. Wages of unskilled workers in fish processing are low an d working conditions often rudimentary. The dominance of large companies in areas of high unemployment can create a dualistic labour market that is reflected in wages; professionals are paid competitive salaries, but unskilled workers less than the value of their revenue product. There is also the danger that labour laws are either poorly enforced or, where violated, result in fines that lack deterrence, perhaps because governments wish to retain a competitive advantage for their internationally traded species. A number of suggestions are made that would improve the governance of labour in aquaculture. Because of the relatively long time that elapsed between the compilation of the information reported in this document and its publication, the situation may have improved here or there. Therefore, these suggestions may not be needed there. However, they remain relevant where such is not the case or for countries thriving to develop aquaculture in a sustainable manner. Note should be take n that this study does not intend to pinpoint any specific country or aquaculture system; its goal is to use them as case studies for the purpose of generating lessons, positive or negative, to learn from. Hishamunda, N.,
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Vigo Dialogue on benefits of decent employment in fisheries and aquaculture
    Working for blue growth: Social responsibility in the fish business – a win-win situation for all. Vigo, Spain, 9 October 2015
    2017
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    As a side event to the First International Fisheries Stakeholder Forum, FAO convened on 9 October 2015, the Vigo Dialogue on the Benefits of promoting decent employment in fisheries and aquaculture. Working for Blue Growth: Social responsibility in the fish business – a win-win situation for all. Stakeholder representatives in fisheries and aquaculture including government administrations, private sector industries, civil society organizations (small-scale fishers, workers’ unions), auditing/certification initiatives and international organizations discussed priority issues and actions on labour conditions in the sector (including capture fisheries, aquaculture, fish processing, distribution, fish trade), however with major emphasis on benefits and incentives of addressing those issues for different stakeholders, e.g. better reputation for companies, more efficiency in production and operation, improved conditions for producers/workers, etc. The meeting recognized that promoting decent working conditions has become a central issue for sustainable business development and agreed that abuses of human rights and labour rights often coincide with illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Ensuring social responsibility in the seafood industry reduces the risks of poor image and bad reputation for companies and improves labour relations and workers’ commitment to company operations and business. Seafood industry and retailers emphasized their interest in advancing decent working conditions in seafood supply chains through social and labour standards and certifications schemes. Capacity development, institution building, strengthening of fish workers organizations along with investments in training, skills development and occupational safety and health were identified as important entry points to achieve decent working conditions in fish value chains. Governments should widely ratify the ILO Work in fishing convention, 2007 (No.188) - as a matter of high priority – and ensure protection of migrant and foreign workers, who often are lacking legal protection.

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