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#COFIaquaculture kicks off in Rome on UN Day

The Ninth session of FAO’s Sub-committee on Aquaculture kicks off in Rome on 24 October

The Ninth session of FAO’s Sub-committee on Aquaculture opened in Rome on 24 October – on UN Day, the day the 1945 creation of the United Nations is marked each year.

The 188 delegates arrive at FAO Headquarters, hailing from 94 countries, non-governmental organizations and international organizations to participate in a week full with aquaculture discussions, and a critical look at how this sector can help achieve the objectives of the Sustainable development Goals.

As Árni M. Mathiesen, FAO’s Assistant Director-General, noted in is welcoming statement”, “FAO’s COFI Sub-committee on Aquaculture serves as a unique, global forum on aquaculture. We gather expertise from our member countries around the world, and we benefit from your guidance and setting the direction of FAO’s work in aquaculture. ”

The Islamic Republic of Iran is serving as Chair of this Ninth session.

The sub-committee meeting moved quickly through agenda items on its first day, addressing the following items:

Árni M. Mathiesen, FAO’s Assistant Director-General, welcomes participants, noting that FAO’s COFI Sub-committee on Aquaculture serves as a unique, global forum on aquaculture.
188 delegates from 94 countries are attending this Ninth session of COFI aquaculture.
  • Adoption of the agenda
  • FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department’s efforts in implementing the recommendations of the past sessions of the COFO Sub-committee on Aquaculture
  • Report of the Secretariat of the COFI Sub-Committee on Fish Trade
  • Aquaculture, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGHs), Agenda 2030
    and FAO’s Common Vision for Sustainable Food and Aquaculture.

COFI Aquaculture Sub-committee papers were presented by FAO staff members. For a full list of the documents presented, click here.

Participants were active in discussions, raising challenges countries face in developing sustainable aquaculture, highlighting instances of success, and requesting support and assistance from FAO.

Issues raised by countries during the day of discussion included the need to develop ecosystem approaches to aquaculture and to strengthen spatial management to better balance competing interests for available land and coastlines, the importance of implementing the Code of Conduct for responsible Fisheries and Aquaculture and to help build capacity in those nations struggling with its implementation, meeting biosecurity challenges such as antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in aquaculture, strengthening small-scale fisheries communities and ensuring decent work in aquaculture, encouraging youth employment in aquaculture, addressing climate change adaptation strategies in aquaculture, and encouraging aquaculture development in small island developing states (SIDS).

Running in parallel to the COFI Sub-committee on Aquaculture is a separate, but related meeting on SIDS that addresses the development of Blue Growth strategies and aquaculture development in these island nations. Sessions were lively and highlighted various shared challenges in the Pacific, African and Caribbean SIDS regions. Participants agreed that they benefitted greatly from information sharing and collaboration across regions – and that many of the challenges small island nations face are similar across regions.

Brainstorming and sharing of best practices and experiences and lessons learned was considered to be helpful in making rapid progress in adopting Blue Growth policies and developing sustainable aquaculture sectors.

It was a busy first day of the Ninth session of FAO’s Sub-committee on Aquaculture, and we look forward to continuing our aquaculture discussions this week in Rome. Follow us on Twitter, via the hashtag #COFIaquaculture.

Parallel discussions with small island developing states brought in various perspectives of SIDS from the Pacific, Africa and the Caribbean.
Delegates were active and discussion was wide-ranging during the first day of COFI Aquaculture sessions.
St Kitts and Nevis and other Caribbean islands shared their experiences with the Pacific and African islands during the parallel SIDS sessions.
FAO's Matthias Halwart is the Technical Secretary of FAO's COFI Sub-Committee on Aquaculture
Delegate from Sao Tome E Principe takes part in the SIDS seminar.
Delegates take part in the SIDS seminar.
A full day of Plenary sessions on the first day of COFI Aquaculture
Iran’s delegate speaks at Plenary. The Islamic Republic of Iran is acting as Chair of the Ninth Session of COFI’s Sub-committee on Aquaculture

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