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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]

Guess what’s for dinner? Healthy, nutritious fish byproduct powder

Admittedly, when you’re planning tonight’s dinner menu, it’s not the first answer that springs to mind. But fish byproducts – the commonly ‘wasted’ parts of fish, like the head, viscera and backbone – are often particularly high in micronutrients. And, as we address the need to sustainably increase fish production to meet a growing demand, while at the same time tackling the large portion of fish and seafood that make up the over 1 billion tonnes of food that are wasted each year, we need to come up with creative ways to fully utilize our food products. [more]

On International Women’s Day, recognizing women’s role in fisheries

8 March marks International Women’s Day (#IWD2016) around the globe. It is a day to celebrate the important role women play in their families, their communities, the workforce and society as a whole. This day is also an ideal time for those of us interested in promoting Blue Growth to reflect on the role of women in fisheries and aquaculture, and we’re including below some of FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture's recent activities related to women and their role in the sector. [more]

Day 4 – Wrapping up a day early

There must be something about the warm Moroccan hospitality, or the gentle Agadir sea breezes, but for the first time in recent history, the FAO COFI Sub-committee on Fish Trade has completed its full agenda, adopted the final report, and finalized its work one day early. “The efficiency of this Agadir meeting was remarkable,” according to Audun Lem, Deputy-Director of FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and Secretary of the COFI Sub-committee on Fish Trade. “I have been working with the Sub-committee for the past ten sessions, and this is the most inspirational session [more]

Day 3 of COFI Fish Trade, focus on small-scale fisheries and decent work

The third day of FAO’s COFI Sub-committee on Fish Trade concentrated primarily on social issues related to fisheries and aquaculture issues. This was following two intensive days of discussions of papers on Sub-committee agenda items, led by country delegations and observers. To read the wrap-ups of those sessions, you can see our earlier posts on day. This past October, FAO celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. As the celebratory events in Vigo, Spain made clear, environmental and conservation [more]

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