Consultancy to Conduct Review of the Past and Present Fisheries Access Arrangements in Selected Member States of The African Union


The African continent continues to attract many foreign fleets to exploit their marine resources under fishing access agreements. These agreements should enable these African countries to maximize profits from their fisheries resources in terms of convertible currency, tax revenues, and financial assistance, as example, to support artisanal fisheries development, increase fish supplies in local market etc. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) provided the legal and economic justification for negotiating fisheries access agreement between coastal states and nations or multilateral organizations. But unfortunately today most African coastal countries do not enjoy the full benefits of fishing access arrangements.
Accordingly, African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) conducted two continental training workshops in 2012, Abidjan and Douala on fisheries access arrangements. The Policy Framework and Strategy for Reform of Fisheries and Aquaculture was adopted by 23rd summit of African Heads of States and Governments in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, June 2014. To contribute to the implementation of this Policy document, the African Union has received support from the European Union to implement a project on "Strengthening institutional capacity to improve the governance of the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Africa". One of the expected outcomes of this project is to strengthen the capacity of African countries and promote regional arrangements for improved negotiation of fair fishing access agreements. It is in this context that this consultancy is organized initially in West and Central Africa and later to other regions of the Continent.


In most coastal states within the African Large Marine Ecosystem (LMEs), living marine living resources constitute the most important national resources in terms of food security, economic growth and poverty reduction. A successful negotiation for fisheries access is therefore an important strategy to ensure sustainability of fisheries operations and equitable benefits. CAMFA 1 specifically recommended: "that Fisheries access agreement be negotiated at regional level and Regional Economic Communities to provide a supporting role, in order to increase benefits for African countries". However, AU Member States are generally deficient in financial capital and technological know-how and do not have adequate national fishing fleets to efficiently exploit their fisheries resources. Hence the need for access arrangements in exchange for financial returns and other benefits. Over the last decade or so, there has been growing perception amongst African coastal states that they are receiving disproportionate compensation from exploitation of their coastal resources by distant water fishing fleets.

Thus whilst some African countries have apparently received substantial benefits from fishing access arrangements, others have not due to benefits from outsourcing the exploitation of their fisheries resources. This disparity in economic benefits could be attributed to the observation that many of the countries lack the requisite capacities to effectively negotiate fair agreements that would yield equitable (proportionate) reward for exploitation of their fish resources. This situation is worsened by lack of scientific or technical collaboration between regional or sub-regional countries.

In order to further enhance capacities of African countries and regional institutions, it is important to share information on lessons and best practices from selected African countries that have implemented fisheries arrangements or are in the middle of implementing such arrangements. In view of transboundary natures of the issues, in particular for migratory and straddling stocks, it is also critical to build and/or strengthen regional capacity for negotiation fair and equitable fisheries access arrangements.


The overall objective of this consultation is to develop a baseline document that packaged lessons and best practices on the past and present fishing access agreements in West and Central Africa for creating awareness on the continent.

The specific objectives are to:

  • Carry out a review of past and present access fishing arrangements highlighting details of the agreements in selected countries, including terms of the agreements, outcomes, shortcomings and impacts, between 2000 and 2013 in selected countries in West and Central Africa.
  • Assess the impacts of access fishing arrangements negotiations on the fisheries sector, i.e. what proportion of the resources from these negotiation have been invested back in the sector
  • Identifying the types of access arrangements – e.g. joint venture, Government to Governments, partnerships etc. and the underlying advantages and disadvantages for AU member states including some success stories and lessons learnt
  • Evaluate the challenges encountered in the effective implementation of the terms of the agreements and recommendations to overcome these challenges, including the impact of these arrangements on AU member states
  • Assess the negotiation capacity of the selected AU member states in fishing access agreements, identifying areas of strength and weakness
  • For each of the countries, document the experiences in the forms of lessons and best practices for the types of access arrangements,
  • Examine the opportunities and bottlenecks for regional cooperation in the fishing access agreements and other access arrangements negotiations,
  • Review existing regional arrangements or frameworks, if any, for the fishing access agreements cooperation, their effectiveness, strengthen and weaknesses and recommendations for improvements, e.g. the terms of the agreements
  • Analyze the obstacles to the establishment of the collaboration for the joint negotiations of the fishing access arrangements in African countries, outlining the possible roles of regional institutions
  • Identify capacity and institutional needs and make proposals for strengthening the negotiation capacity and institutional frameworks for equitable and sustainable in fishing access arrangements and other access arrangements at national and regional levels respectively
  • Develop a framework for establishment of a regional mechanism for negotiating fishing access arrangements for shared at regional level

Expected Results

  • A detailed Report complete on the situation of the fishing access agreements and other access arrangement in identified countries from West and Central Africa including packaged information on lessons and best practices on fisheries access arrangements in the selected countries
  • Technical Paper on proposals on options for strengthening the capacity of AU member states negotiating fair and sustainable fisheries access agreements
  • A framework for establishing regional mechanism for negotiating fisheries access arrangements.

Specific Actvities

These activities will be implemented simultaneously through the engagement of one individual consultancy for each of the two Regions of Africa: Western and Central. Consultant will carry out following specific activities to produce a comprehensive baseline document that packaged lessons and best practices on the past and present fishing access agreements in West and Central Africa:

  • Briefing by the AU-IBAR;
  • Consultation meetings with the national and regional fishing access agreements relevant Authorities;
  • Conduct assessment of institutional and technical capacities of the AU member States to negociate fishing access agreements.
  • Review other regions with regional frameworks or arrangements or agreement for fisheries managements, preferably for access regimes
  • Review the institutional set-up, mandate to fishing access agreements activities of existing RFBs in each region of the continent ;
  • Conduct consultations with stakeholders including Ministries or Departments of Fisheries, Justice, Cooperation, Trade and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), involved in the fishing access agreements;
  • Conduct review of the essential elements or components for regional cooperation for the grouped fishing access agreements;
  • 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 predominantly be desk, online research and by 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.

Qualification and Experiences


    Advanced degree in the field of fisheries management and/International maritime affairs, including policy, legal issues on ocean governance or equivalents.

Experience and Technical Skills

  •  Over 10 years of professional experiences in the field of the fisheries management,
  • At least five years experience in direct or indirect implementing or managing fishing access agreements and other access arrangements negotiations in Africa,
  • Familiarization of relevant international instruments, e.g. UNCLOS, Compliance agreement with specific regards to flag state responsibilities etc.,
  • Sound knowledge of regional and international issues on the fishing access agreements and other access arrangements,
  • Knowledge of the regional agenda of the fisheries organizations and other institutions e.g. RFBs, RFMO and RECs concerning sustainable management of the fisheries resources in Africa,
  • Proven experience of the fisheries management and development issues in the Western and Central African regions
  • Working experience with international organizations active in the fishing access agreements and other access arrangement in Africa,
  • Excellent ability to write and communicate in English or French and working knowledge of one of the two languages.


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 Proposals

For this consultancy, the applicants should submit only Technical PROPOSAL which should include:

  • 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.

How to apply

Submission of Proposals

Applications should be sent to with mention "CONSULTANCY SERVICES TO CONDUCT A REVIEW OF THE PAST AND PRESENT FISHERIES ARRANGEMENTS IN SELECTED MEMBER STATES OF THE AFRICAN UNION" no later than 10 November 2014 at 15h00 (Nairobi time).