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The region

The CCLME is a vital food and economic resource not only for coastal populations bordering the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME), but also for much of Western Africa. Sustainable stewardship of the CCLME is essential for achievement of the Millenium Development Goals in Africa.


Eng CCLME map


The CCLME Project includes Morocco, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau.
Click here for more information on the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) concept
See FAO:s country profiles for more information on fisheries in each of the CCLME countries

The CCLME is one of the world’s major cold water upwelling boundary current LME. It ranks third in the world in terms of primary productivity and it has one of the highest fisheries production of any African large marine ecosystem with an annual production ranging from 2-3 million tonnes.

The fisheries in the Canary Current LME are of major economic and social importance in that they provide sustainable livelihoods, fish-protein supplies and revenue for the coastal populations and states of the region.

The CCLME coastal zone also provides important goods and services to coastal states including provision of critical fish habitat, wood from mangroves and provision of coastal and marine space for agriculture, aquaculture, urban development, tourism and transport.

However, fisheries in the Canary Current are on the decline and many resources are now classified as overexploited. Some of the underlying causes of the declining fisheries include the over-capacity of fishing fleets (both industrial and artisanal); ecosystem complexity and variability; weak management and monitoring, control and surveillance; lack of scientific and technical capacity for management; and poor stakeholders’ participation in magement decision's.

In addition, the region is experiencing degradation of several important habitats including estuaries, wetlands (particularly mangroves) and benthic habitats. The causes for the degradation include over-harvesting of wood, trawling, sedimentation, upstream hydro-electric and irrigation schemes and the absence of any systematic policy for conservation of these critical habitats. Habitats are also affected by changing water quality such as salinity changes (mainly due to river dams), oil pollution and eutrophication.


Regional Coordinating Unit
Dakar, Senegal
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)

Supported by GEF IW:LEARN