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COFI’s Sub-committee on Fish Trade opens today in Agadir

The Fifteenth session of the FAO COFI Sub-Committee on Fish Trade opened today in Agadir, Morocco. Hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco, the week-long sessions are attended by 49 country delegations, civil society organizations, private industry associations, partners, and observers. The five days of sessions will cover a wide range of topics, including recent developments in fish trade, building resilience along the value chain, Guidelines for Catch Documentation Schemes, Food quality for safety-related market access requirements, trade in fisheries services, Voluntary Guidelines for Small-scale Fisheries, CITES-related activities, monitoring and implementation of Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and impact of aquaculture supply on trade and consumption. [more]

Recipe book promotes nutritional value of fish in Africa – and beyond

Fish is truly nature’s superfood – it contains most of the nutrients you need to lead a healthy life. A good source of protein, minerals and vitamins, fish is especially important for pregnant women, infants and children, and the elderly. This recipe book, entitled Cooking Freshwater Fish, is aimed at encouraging people to appreciate the nutritional value of fish by providing simple, easy to follow step-by-step preparation and cooking instructions for traditional, healthy recipes for freshwater fish. It also proposes some new recipes to try. All recipes can be prepared with available ingredients and equipment typically found in Eastern African villages. [more]

Anchovies on your pizza? Georgians learn anchovy seasoning techniques in Morocco

In an earlier post, we wrote about fisheries activity in Georgia, a country in the Caucasus with considerable marine resources. Georgian fishers harvest 60 000 metric tonnes of Black Sea anchovies (Engraulis encrasicolus) annually. Currently, most of these anchovies are sold fresh to Turkey or processed into fish meal and oil. Georgia would like to meet standards to export its Black Sea anchovies directly to the European Union (EU), but it will have to make necessary changes to its legislation and to meet EU standards for its fish inspections, certification systems, and laboratories. Georgia has been working together with FAO in order to develop these capacities. [more]

Building a future for sustainable small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea

The future of small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea will be the topic of discussion at a regional conference being held on 7-9 March 2016 in Algiers, Algeria. Small-scale fisheries play a significant social, cultural and economic role in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions. In the region, they constitute over 80 percent of the fishing fleet, employ at least 60 percent of workers directly engaged in fishing activity, and account for approximately 25 percent of the total landing value from capture fisheries. [more]

Advancing aquaponics development in Indonesia

A recent technical training workshop on Advancing Aquaponics was held in Bogor, Indonesia, 23–26 November 2015. Eleven international participants from ten countries (Colombia, Fiji, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Samoa and Timor Leste) and one regional body (Secretariat of the Pacific Community) attended the sessions. The workshop was a product of a side-event during the Thirty-first Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) presented by the Indonesian delegation on the topic of Bumina/Yumina, a special form of aquaponics particularly appropriate for developing nations. [more]

Understanding fish trade: Preparing for Agadir

Fish and fishery products are among the most traded food commodities worldwide. For many countries, fishery exports are essential to national economies. Estimates for 2015 place the value of international fish trade at 130 billion USD, indicating a sharp drop from the fish trade peak of 144 billion USD reached in 2014. Although traded volumes remain steady over the two year period, the decline in value is largely due to currency fluctuations. over the two year period, the decline in value is largely due to currency fluctuations. The fisheries sector today is operating in an increasingly globalized environment – where fish may be produced in one country, processed in a second, and consumed in a third. [more]

The path to ratification: Port State Measures Agreement gains momentum

It is beginning to look as if 2016 will be a landmark year in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Just as 2015 was about to come to a close, the instruments of adherence to the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) of Mauritius, Somalia, Palau, Costa Rica, and Saint Kitts and Nevis were recorded by Depository – the Director General of FAO - bringing the total number of ratifications and accessions to the Agreement to 18. In the first days of 2016, FAO welcomed the Republic of Korea as the 19th State to deposit its instrument of adherence to the Agreement. [more]

Do you know where the fish on your plate comes from?

Seafood products are among the most widely traded food commodities – totaling around USD 145 billion per year. As the seafood industry becomes increasingly globalized, there is a heightened demand on the part of consumers to know exactly where their fish and seafood products are coming from. In the seafood industry, this is called ‘traceability’, and seafood industry experts are increasingly speaking in terms of ‘sea to plate’ traceability to meet growing consumer demand. According to Audun Lem, Deputy-Director of FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, traceabilty is important for two main reasons. “The first is related to quality and safety issues. [more]

Rehabilitating the fisheries sector in Somalia

After years of conflict in Somalia, the fisheries sector in the country requires investment and capacity building to generate income and enhance food security for the communities along the country’s 3,300-km coastline and for fishing communities in riverine areas that are dependent on fish for their livelihoods and nutritional needs. 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. Sustainable fisheries can serve a key role tackling food insecurity and malnutrition in the country, as well as generating rural employment and building resilience of fishing communities. [more]

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]
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