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More than 580 aquatic species used for global food production from aquaculture!

Preliminary results of an FAO global assessment of farmed aquatic species are reviewed by member countries in Rome: The FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture have been working closely with national focal points of member countries around the world to produce the first draft assessment of the State of the Word’s Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. [more]

It’s World Day to Combat Desertification: Have you thought about fisheries today?

Each year, 17 June marks World Day to Combat Desertification. In most of the policy discussions surrounding the event, fisheries is absent from solutions being proposed to bolster the resilience and meet the food security needs of the 390 million people who live in Sub-Saharan Africa’s dryland regions. As a new study shows, it is crucial that we position fisheries firmly in these discussions as an important component of an integrated livelihoods approach for vulnerable populations in these areas. This is particularly important for dryland areas, where agricultural production is extremely low. [more]

Can strengthening fishing communities decrease migration?

Speaking on the BBC last week and addressing the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans spoke about new initiatives to manage migration in the Mediterranean region better “by helping the fishermen to start to fish again”. Within the work of FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, the work of strengthening coastal communities and improving the lives of vulnerable fishing families has consistently been a core area in its work programme. Fishing communities in developing countries are often fragile and more vulnerable than other rural communities. Yet work in fisheries and aquaculture can provide important opportunities for small-scale fishing communities. [more]

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]

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