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Let’s talk about sharks…

New proposals to change the lists of species protected under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) include four species of sharks, (silky shark and three species of thresher sharks), all the devil rays, one stingray, two ornamental marine fishes (Banggai cardinalfish and clarion angelfish) and all the species of the mollusc nautilus. To review these proposals, this week FAO is convening the Fifth meeting of the FAO-CITES Expert Advisory Panel, 6 - 10 June, at its Headquarters in Rome, Italy. [more]

Port State Measures Agreement enters into force as international treaty

Today, it was announced that the Port State Measures Agreement has reached – and even surpassed – the twenty-five parties needed for the Agreement to enter into force as a binding, international treaty designed to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Six nations entered as the twenty-fifth to thirtieth parties to the Agreement, allowing the Agreement to enter into force as an international treaty on 5 June 2016. See the press release issued today: Ground-breaking illegal fishing accord soon to enter into force: FAO Port State Measures Agreement set to become binding law. [more]

Promoting gender in fisheries activities in Somalia

Rebuilding the fisheries sector in Somalia, following years of conflict, is crucial for strengthening food security and nutrition among the Somali population and generating employment in the sector. In Somalia today, over one million people face severe food insecurity, while an estimated 307,800 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished, according to FAO data. Generating employment in the fisheries sector is also key, especially for women. Employment rates are particularly low for women, with the 2012 Human Development Report index placing that figure at 75% unemployment among Somali women. [more]

Developing sustainable aquaculture in Angola

Due to its favourable environmental conditions and available water resources, the southern African nation of Angola has excellent potential for freshwater and marine aquaculture development. Most emphasis on fisheries in the country until now has been concentrated on marine capture fisheries, and the fishing sector is the third most important sector for the Angolan economy, following the oil and diamond industries. Currently, Angolan aquaculture production remains relatively modest, with an estimated 305 tonnes of production of mostly Nile tilapia, according to 2014 statistics published by FAO. This limited aquaculture production also translates into poor availability of quality fish seed and feed available and limited technical capacity in the region, areas that would require improvement to expand the sector. [more]

Boosting food security and creating employment through aquaculture in Haiti

The small Caribbean island developing state of Haiti is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, climate-related disasters and food insecurity. Shocks induced by climate change threaten over 500 000 Haitians each year. Haiti is the poorest country in the northern hemisphere, with two and a half million Haitians living in extreme poverty. Food insecurity and malnutrition are fairly widespread among the population, particularly affecting children, and there is a need to create employment for the rural populations of this island nation. [more]

Improving the efficiency of Thai trawl fishing fleets, through energy audits

The profitability of the global commercial fishing fleet is presently challenged by volatility in oil prices, despite recent global reductions in the price of oil. Coupled with concern over greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel, greater focus is also now being placed on energy-intense fisheries and the application of fuel saving practices to the fishing vessel and fishing gear. One Norwegian-financed FAO activity in Thailand focussed attention on the issue of fuel use and links to greenhouse gas mitigation from the capture fisheries sector. [more]

Improving ocean health through the elimination of ghost gear

An expert consultation in Rome discusses international guidelines for marking fishing gear.
So-called ghost gear – a segment of abandoned, lost and otherwise discarded fishing gear found increasingly in our oceans – has become a significant component of marine debris. Ghost gear can have negative impacts on marine ecosystems and wildlife, lead to decreased catches for fishing vessels, and often translate into additional costs for the fishing sector. The latest estimates by FAO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) suggest that abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear makes up about one-tenth of all marine litter, translating roughly into the equivalent of 640 000 tonnes annually. [more]

Proud to host Fishackathon at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy

“We are very pleased to be hosting the first Rome venue for Fishackathon 2016 during the Earth Day weekend of 22-24 April at the Headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations,” according to Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General of FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. “This is the first time this event is being held at the United Nations. We believe it is fitting that FAO, with its long commitment to supporting member countries in implementing sustainable fisheries and aquaculture policies and practices, will benefit from the creativity and energy offered by the young developers, designers, project managers, and subject matter experts taking part in this interesting initiative.” [more]

A round-up of FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture staff in the media - March 2016

We’re lucky enough to have fisheries and aquaculture staff who regularly speak with the media about their activities and areas of expertise, particularly as these issues related to fisheries management, food security, illegal fishing, fish trade, and fisheries’ role in rural development are increasingly being addressed in the news. Throughout the year, we run regular features on this Blue Growth blog to round-up newspaper, magazine and journal articles, radio programmes, and television interviews highlighting FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture staff as they share their areas of work, in various UN languages, on all aspects of fisheries and aquaculture. [more]

How to improve fisheries management in the Congo? Call in the foresters!

The Central African country of the Republic of Congo enjoys substantial fisheries resources. Their inland water sources, lakes and rivers, are replete with numerous fish species. Until now, the relative abundance of fish and the low levels of fishing meant that the need to devise fisheries management plans was not considered a priority. Going forward, however, it will be essential to develop such plans, outlining how much can be fished to allow their fish stocks to remain at biologically sustainable levels and to ensure that overfishing does not occur. Fish is widely consumed in the Congolese diet, with an average of 26.5 kg of fish consumed per capita annually. This should be measured against estimated averages of nearly 20 kg per capita at a global level and an average for Africa of only 9.8 kg per capita. [more]

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