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Napoleon in the Pacific?

A recent workshop in Indonesia addressed the iconic reef fish, the Humphead wrasse – more commonly known as the Napoleon fish – that is found in shallow, tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The Napoleon fish can grow to the size of a large man. With its numbers decreasing over the past two decades, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) now lists the Napoleon fish among its protected species. This listing level still allows for exports, but only within a carefully managed fisheries programme. [more]

Challenges to coastal fisheries communities in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

During a recent workshop in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire to shape a five-year GEF-FAO Western Africa project implemented in partnership with the governments of Côte d’Ivoire, Cabo Verde and Senegal, FAO officers visited coastal fishing communities and fisherfolk organizations to better understand the principle challenges to improving coastal fisheries in Côte d’Ivoire. Côte d’Ivoire has a vibrant market for fish, with total production estimated at around 90 000 tonnes of fish annually. This figure is combined with the 260 000 tonnes imported each year, illustrating the strong demand for fish and fish products domestically. [more]

4000 kilometers across the Sudan to meet with Nile River fishing communities

During a recent FAO Fisheries assessment study, a team covered 4 000 km along the Blue Nile, White Nile and River Nile, over 17 days – meeting with 39 focus groups in 18 villages in Blue Nile State, Sennar State, White Nile State, Khartoum State, River Nile State, and Northern State. Paula Anton, Junior Fisheries and Aquaculture Officer, FAO Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa, and Lori Curtis, consultant, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department recently completed an assessment of fishers and aquaculture farmers livelihoods along the Nile in Sudan. The two were part of a technical team of 4, which visited 18 villages across five states. [more]

Helping to reduce bycatch in Latin America and the Caribbean

In recent years, the bycatch (the fish or other marine species caught unintentionally when targeting different species) of fishery resources has become a concern for various actors, including commercial and recreational fishing industries, scientists, policy makers, conservation organizations and the general public. Public scrutiny has grown alongside a heighted interest in conservation issues and concerns about the magnitude of food loss and waste. The levels of bycatch can vary tremendously from industry to industry, but the general trend raises concerns. For instance, on average, the quantity of bycatch for a tropical shrimp trawl can reach a level 3 to 15 times higher than the targeted species. 1.9 million tonnes of bycatch is discarded annually from shrimp trawlers alone. [more]

Managing Ciguatera fish poisoning requires broad partnerships

Ciguatera is increasingly attracting greater public attention and discussion among the general public and within the community of food safety experts. As the geographical instances of ciguatera fish poisoning expand, discussion is turning to the implications this may have on the diets and nutrition of the affected regions and on international fish trade. Earlier this week, FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, jointly with the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, organized an interagency meeting with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Panel on Harmful Algal Blooms (UNESCO-IOC), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). [more]

Fishing – A man’s world?

This was the provocative title of an interesting AgTalk held at FAO’s sister agency, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome, Italy on 10 December. Fisheries and aquaculture play an important role in addressing global poverty and food insecurity. About 60 million people worldwide are employed in the primary sectors of fisheries and aquaculture. 85 percent of those 60 million work in Asia and an additional 10 percent in Africa. In rural areas, fisheries have a very important socioeconomic and cultural dimension as a source of livelihoods and a way of life. Women have a big stake in fisheries and aquaculture, particularly in fish processing and marketing, where they constitute 90 per cent of the labour force. At least 15 percent of all people directly engaged in the fisheries primary sector are women. [more]

Boosting trade: Training fish inspectors in Poti, Georgia

Georgia, a small country in the Caucasus with a population of 3.7 million, enjoys significant marine fisheries resources. With a coastline along the Black Sea, its annual catch of Black Sea anchovies (Engraulis encrasicolus) totals 60 000 metric tonnes. Most of this catch is currently sold fresh to neighboring countries or processed into fish meal and oil. However, Georgia would like to be able to export directly to the European Union (EU), the world’s largest importer of fish and seafood products in terms of value. In 2014, the EU imported fish and seafood products for a value of 21 billion euro, making this an extremely interesting export market for countries like Georgia. [more]

Spotlight on Abidjan: Strengthening coastal fisheries

It’s fitting that while world attention this week is focused on the important climate change negotiations taking place in Paris, France at COP21, a small group of experts in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire are planning how to improve the livelihoods, food security and resilience of one of the groups most affected by climate change: coastal communities. Globally, more than 40 percent of the population lives within 100 km of the coast. For coastal communities along western Africa, oceans are central to the lives of those residents – providing incomes and livelihoods to fishers and those working in related industries and serving as an important and healthy source of protein and essential nutrients. But the effects of climate change, unsustainable fishing and environmental practices, and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing are taking their toll on the livelihoods of these vital fishing communities. [more]

Notes from Kenya: Eat fish for a better life

Fish plays an important role in fighting hunger and malnutrition. Not only a source of proteins and healthy fats, fish is also a source of essential nutrients, including long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc and calcium. Over 10 million people in Kenya currently suffer from chronic food insecurity and poor nutrition, and between two and four million people require emergency food assistance at any given time. Nearly 30 percent of Kenya’s children are classified as undernourished and micronutrient deficiencies are widespread. This is why the EU-funded Indian Ocean Commission SmartFish Programme in collaboration with the Government of Kenya, have launched the "Eat fish for a better life" campaign aiming to promote the consumption of local fish and to inform the public about the importance of fish consumption for our health and growth. [more]

Inland fisheries: A new management plan for Lake Chad’s fisheries sector

Last May, during a regional meeting, stakeholders approved the Lake Chad Fisheries Management Plan. The Lake Chad Basin Commission, in cooperation with its partners, FAO and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and with the support of the African Development Bank and the Government of Sweden, has been working for more than a year with the Lake Chad fisheries sector and other stakeholders to develop this regional fisheries management plan to ensure sustainable fisheries management in the Lake. The plan is needed to ensure the sustainability of a yearly fishery production of around 100 000 tons, and valued at about USD 200 Million. According to Felix Marttin, FAO Fisheries Resources Officer, “Many factors threaten the highly important fisheries sector on Lake Chad, including overfishing, pollution, and water use for competing needs, such as agriculture. [more]

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