050 Realizing the right to food from oceans and inland waters

Global, regional and national efforts.Organizers

  • FAO
  • ECOWAS
  • UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
  • Duke University
  • WorldFish
  • Michigan State University

Abstract

Sustainable food from aquatic ecosystems plays an increasingly critical role in global food security and nutrition. For example, recent analyses using national household income and expenditure surveys (HIES) reveal the global hidden harvest of inland fisheries could be more than 65% more than currently recorded. This in itself is a major indication of the under-appreciation of the contribution of fisheries to food security and nutrition. It underscores how fish in food systems may not necessarily appear to dominate at a global level, but can be essential in the nutrition and livelihoods of dependent sub-populations within countries, including in least developed and landlocked countries.

This side event will inform about ongoing efforts at global, regional and national level to enhance the recognition and contribution of fisheries to food security and nutrition, building on the momentum of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition and relevant SDGs (in particular 2, 12, 14) with actionable items to ensure a human rights-based approach is taken to fully capture fisheries' contribution to food security and nutrition for the most vulnerable.
More specifically, the following ongoing efforts will be presented:

- GLOBAL: Illuminating hidden harvests: the contribution of small-scale fisheries, including inland fisheries, to sustainable development, with a focus on food security and nutrition ; the role of small-scale fisheries actors in the fulfillment of the right to adequate food and achievement of FSN.


- REGIONAL AND NATIONAL: Lessons from a review of national fisheries and aquaculture policies to develop a regional fisheries and aquaculture strategy focused on food security and nutrition for ECOWAS countries.
 

Key speakers/presenters

  • Juan Carlos García y Cebolla, FAO, Right to Food Team Leader
  • Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
  • Giulia Gorelli, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department
  • Devin Bartley, Michigan State University
  • Serena Pepino, FAO, Right to Food team
  • Sidibe Aboubacar, ECOWAS


Main themes/issues discussed

The Right to Food Guidelines paved the way for many voluntary guidelines which pick up efforts to enact these human rights in various sectors, such as the Voluntary guidelines for securing small scale fisheries in the context of food security and poverty eradication. Global efforts such as “Illuminating hidden harvests”, an FAO, Duke University, and WorldFish collaborative study, was discussed in its relation to measuring the contribution small scale fisheries makes in the context of global food security and nutrition. The on-going process of an FAO Guidance Note on the implementation of the SSF and the Right to Food Guidelines was another focus. Inland fisheries was another main theme, which explored the unmeasured but crucial role played by this sub-sector in providing livelihoods and nutrition for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Summary of key points

  • Sustainable food from aquatic ecosystems plays an increasingly critical role in global food security and nutrition, fish in food systems may not necessarily appear to dominate at a global level, but can be essential in the nutrition and livelihoods of dependent sub-populations within countries, including in least developed and landlocked countries.
  • Inland fisheries provides nutritional quality where there are otherwise limited, and micronutrient poor diets prevailing
  • Regional fisheries and aquaculture policies with a focus on food security and nutrition can effect change, and vice versa

Key take away messages

A better characterization and understanding of the role of small-scale fisheries for food and nutrition security is underway. Specifically, quantifying the fish capture production from SSF and destination of catch, fish supply for local human consumption, nutritional content of SSF products (protein, micronutrients) and how these compare to fish supply from industrial fisheries and other sources of food, and distribution of nutritional benefits, with special attention to vulnerable segments of the population in the community and within the household.
Efforts such as IHH and others within the broader fisheries sector can help enable fisherfolk and representatives to speak for themselves and advocate for their own rights, as well as provide support to the implementation of the Voluntary guidelines for securing sustainable small-scale fisheries.

CFS Side Event 50 - Realizing the right to food from oceans and inland waters