Consultancy for Assessment of Constraints to the Implementation/Adoption of International Instruments for Fisheries Management and Aquaculture Development


Fisheries resources management and aquaculture development in the African Union Member States (AU MS) are guided by national policy and legal instruments. These instruments are mainly developed to regulate fishing and farming practices in national waters and territories. They also set acceptable standards for marketing, trade and utilization of fisheries and aquaculture products. Though these instruments put in place measures that helped regulate the fisheries, their inadequacies became glaring with the emergency of new realities that are inherent in contemporary fisheries management and aquaculture development challenge. Responsible fisheries management practices now inculcate integrated approach that take into consideration human dimensions, ecosystems conservation in its entirety and socio-economics and governance.

In the past attempts to address the fisheries management and developmental challenges facing many nations, Governance has been at national levels without necessarily taking into consideration the biology and behaviour of the species of concern as well as the transboundary natures of the issues such as IUU, trade, environmental problems e.g. pollution. Invariably these attempts have led to dismal failures with serious repercussions on the sustainability of the stocks.

The solutions, as best practices, to most of the challenges facing national Governments in the areas of responsible fisheries can be found be in regional and international fisheries management instruments. Most of these instruments contain provisions that address inherent challenges in the sector such as overexploitation, pollution, regional collaboration, environmental degradation, climate change and other disasters, conflicts etc.

These international and regional instruments, often underpinned by declarations or resolutions, have the potential of significantly improving fisheries management on the continent. The biggest challenges are their non-adoption or implementation due possibly to unawareness of their relevant provisions and hence potential usefulness to the African countries. There are several challenges which may be hampering the domestication of these instruments. For instance, the poor implementation may be possibly related to capacity problems in aligning pertinent provisions with national instruments as well as lack of awareness. Most of these international instruments provide a framework for sustainable management of fisheries at the national, regional and the international levels.

AU-IBAR has collected some information on the level of adoption and implementation of some of these instruments, some of which are listed below:.

  • The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),
  • The U.N. Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA),
  • The FAO Compliance Agreement,
  • A range of non-fisheries agreements and conventions, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), as well as conventions on pollution, safety at sea, and other relevant matters
  • A number of nonbinding instruments, including the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCFR)
  • Port States Measures and International Plan of Action (IPOA) for combating Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing
  • 2010 European Union Illegal Unreported and Unregulated regulations (EU-IUU Regulations)
  • Voluntary guidelines for SSF and flag state measures
  • Regional declarations and resolutions

Many of these agreements, instruments and organizations have very significant components or elements connected to sustainable fisheries and must be considered within any overall assessment of fisheries policy, law and institutions.

The binding status of some of these instruments (UNCLOS, Compliance agreement for the High Seas, FAO Port State Measures (PSM) etc) makes it imperative for creating awareness amongst the AU member states. Important also is their potentials useful for sustainable management of fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) as well as Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) even for the non-binding instruments such as CCRF, Flag States, Voluntary Guidelines etc. Some of these instruments incorporate provisions for assistance to developing countries; the Part 7 of the UNFSA, Voluntary guidelines for SSF etc.

The role of the RFMOs, some of which African countries are members, in combating IUU under the provisions of strengthened Flag State measures could provide some measures of benefits to these countries. In equal measures, the FAO PSM requires regional collaborations in combating IUU which could be facilitated by the RFBs which are constituted by member states.

Political commitment to resolve inherent challenges requires long-term national, regional, and international efforts to build awareness and consensus for effective international regulations to make fisheries resources rationally, equitably and sustainably accessible to more than one country.

The precautionary approach notes that lack of awareness and inadequate scientific information must not be an excuse for postponing or failing to take precautionary and conservation measures geared towards sustainable fisheries resources.

Increased awareness and subsequent accession to international treaties, conventions and agreements would greatly assist Africa to address illegal fishing, limit the abuse of flags of convenience and help enforce international management measures that will ensure sustainable and profitable exploitation of fisheries resources in the region.

To accomplish this task is very crucial and expedient, because failure to place the exploitation of fisheries resources and the development of aquaculture on a truly sustainable foundation will have significant socioeconomic, environmental and health consequences particularly for fishing communities in Africa.

The AU-IBAR in spearheading the formulation of the Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa as well as African Fisheries Reform Mechanism recognizes that it is time for a proactive, collective and regional approach to improving the fisheries sector in the region. The challenge in moving toward a sustainable fisheries sector is to maintain economic growth and development by enhancing productivity and the wealth of the fisheries resources, while avoiding the prevalent incidences of overfishing, pollution, conflicts and ecological degradations. Therefore through this exercise, the AU-IBAR intends to establish institutions, values and practices that will safeguard the future of fish resources and the health and livelihood of communities that depend on these resources for their income, nutrition and quality of life.


The overall objective of this exercise is to increase the level of awareness of AU MS and establish the underlying factor for the low rate of implementation or adoption of relevant International and Regional Instruments for sustainable fisheries management with a view of identifying intervention areas for support to the AU member states.

The specific objectives are to;

  • Assess of the level of awareness and status of implementation of relevant international instruments for sustainable fisheries management in AU MS.
  • Identify the challenges in the ratification and implementation of these instruments
  • Identify relevant provisions in these instruments that would strengthen regional approach to sustainable management and development of fisheries and aquaculture in Africa.
  • Identify key interventions areas/measures that will facilitate the adoption and domestication of the international instruments by AU MS in line with the African fisheries reform strategy.

Expected Results

  • A comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge and status of AU MS on awareness and application of International/Regional Fisheries Instruments is established.
  • The challenges facing AU MS in the implementation and ratification of these instruments.
  • An action plan to fast track the adoption and domestication of international fisheries instruments is developed established.

Specific Actvities

This activity will be implemented simultaneously through the engagement of one consultant each for the five Regions of Africa; East, Central, North, Southern and West.

The consultants will undertake the following tasks:

  • Briefing by the AU-IBAR;
  • Consultation meetings with the relevant Authorities of the assigned AU MS;
  • Produce a comprehensive report on the challenges faced by AU MS in implementation of international fisheries instruments;
  • Produce a report with recommendations on strategic intervention areas that would facilitate the adoption and/or implementation of these instruments by AU MS;
  • Provide a background reference document, briefly describing each instrument and justification of relevant provisions that may be having bearing on African fisheries and aquaculture development;
  • Develop a framework for establishing a national and regional plans of action for AU MS to adopt key international fisheries instruments (e.g. IUU, sustainable aquaculture development, fishing access arrangements etc)
  • Finalize the draft documents taking into account of the conclusions and recommendations made by the AU-IBAR;
  • Compilation of the required reports as outlined in Section "Reporting Requirements" of this Terms of Reference;


The consultancy would be home –based with field visits predominantly by desk, online research and correspondences. But where necessary, field trips would be undertaken to respective AU MS.
Commencement date & Period of implementation

The intended commencement date is 20 November 2014 and the period of implementation of the contract will be 30 days from this date.



The successful candidates shall have an advanced degree in Fisheries Management, Social Sciences, Policy or Legal Studies and/or Administration. Candidates should be fluent or at least have a working knowledge in English and French.


The candidate should have:

  • At least 10 years' experience in fisheries and aquaculture law, policy and institutions in Africa
  • Specific working experiences and sound knowledge of international fisheries instruments, regional fisheries organizations and regional economic communities
  • Previous experience in developing legislative and/or policy implementation plans and strategies at national and regional levels).
  • Practical experience of carrying out assignments for the AU or other international development agencies


Reporting Requirements

The Consultant is required to prepare the following technical reports in English/French:

  • An Inception Report (IcTR) within 5 days of commencing duty. The ITR should not be longer than 10 pages and must include the proposed methodology, the calendar and programme of activities, RFBs to visit, people to meet and an outline of the contents of the Final Technical Report.
  • An Interim Technical Report (InTR), to be delivered at a time agreed in the IcTR;
  • The Final Technical Report (FTR), taking into account contributions and comments from the relevant RFBs. The draft final report must be submitted at least 5 days before the end of the period of implementation of the tasks. If required a second draft FTR will be requested for submission.

Submission of Technical Proposal

For this consultancy, the applicants should submit only technical proposals that include the below:

  • Outlining methodologies, for collecting detailed information as per the tasks assigned to this consultancy.
  • A profile and CVs of the consultant(s) undertaking the work indicating relevant experience and contribution of each one of them in the study.
  • Other relevant information showing past experience in related field, demonstrate your expertise by showing the experience, academic background, an inventory of past and current assignments of similar nature.
  • Contact addresses (Postal, email and telephone) of at least three referees and any other information that may show the consultant's ability to carry out the assignment to satisfaction.


The successful consultant will work under the supervision of AU-IBAR.

Selection of the Consultant

The selection of the consultant will be based on the technical evaluation. The consultant with the highest technical score will be selected.

Payment of the Consultant

The professional fee of each consultancy is fixed at US$ 9,000 (nine thousand US Dollars). The field trip and DSA related to this consultancy will be taken in charge by AU-IBAR. The final Payment should be subject to delivery and clearance by IBAR.

Submission of Proposals