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The Department promotes policies and strategies aiming at sustainable and responsible development of fisheries and aquaculture in inland and marine waters. For this purpose, the Department provides discussion fora, information, legal and policy frameworks, codes and guidelines, options for strategies, scientific advice, training material, etc. For the purpose:

  • It collects, analyzes and disseminates information on the sector operations (catch, production, value, prices, fleets, farming systems, employment).
  • It develops methodology, assesses and monitors the state of wild resources and elaborates resources management advice.
  • It monitors and advises on the development and management of aquaculture.
  • It provides socio-economic analysis of fisheries and aquaculture and assists in the elaboration of development and management polices and strategies and institutions.
  • It supports and assists a network of regional fishery commissions and promotes aquaculture networks.
  • It monitors and advises on technology development, fish processing, food safety and trade.

Within the mandate given by FAO's Governing Bodies, the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department is committed to working with its Members, and to forging closer and more effective partnerships with national and international institutions, academia, the private sector and civil society to achieve long-term sustainable results in the fisheries sector.
The Fisheries and Aquaculture Department has a commitment to team work in a spirit of cooperation and openness while building on past achievements; fostering a stable and community-orientated multi-cultural environment; respect for differences of opinion and minority views; gender-awareness; and personal trust.

Departmental organigram

The Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of FAO comprises one Division with six branches employing more than 200 staff and consultants, covering a wide range of fisheries and aquaculture related disciplines. The Department works in close collaboration with the fisheries officers based in the FAO decentralised offices, i.e. 7 in Africa, 5 in Asia, 1 in Europe, 5 in Latin America and 3 in the Near East, technically supervising the approximately 280 ongoing fisheries-related projects and programmes of FAO, world-wide, with an overall total delivery of USD 45 million per year.

Office of the Assistant Director-General (FID)


General management and oversight of the Department.


The Fisheries and Aquaculture Department is responsible for all programmes and activities relating to the development of policies, strategies and guidelines as well as the provision of technical services to FAO members concerning management, economics and policy, information and statistics, products and industry, conservation, emergency and rehabilitation activities in the field of fisheries and aquaculture. It is also responsible for promoting and supporting the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and its related instruments.

Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General

Email: FI-ADG

Programme Coordination Unit (FIDP)


Coordination and management support to the Assistant Director-General, the Division Director and the line managers in the Department


The Programme Coordination Unit (FIDP) coordinates and supports the planning, periodic review and reporting of the integrated Programme of Work of Budget of the Department, comprising the Department's work funded from assessed and voluntary contributions. It aims to enhance capacity development and information exchange within the Department and with fisheries experts in the decentralized offices, including through the fisheries-related technical networks. In close collaboration with FISHCODE, the unit coordinates and supports colleagues at headquarters and in the field at all stages of the project cycle to ensure efficient and effective delivery of policy advice and technical assistance to member countries in compliance with FAO rules, the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and in support of the Department's strategies and priorities. It provides liaison with other units within the organization, especially on financial, administrative and legal issues, as well as on matters related to human resources.

Bart van Ommen, Senior Program Coordinator

Email: bart.vanommen



Project resource mobilization and project cycle management coordination and support.


The FISHCODE serves as the principal instrument for project cycle management in the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of FAO. It will promote and support the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and associated instruments and strategies in actions aimed at the sustainable management of living aquatic resources to improve food security and alleviate poverty. FISHCODE develops and coordinates the cooperation with resource partners, including the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund in close coordination with FIDP and the Department technical units. The integrated application of extra-budgetary resources under the FISHCODE umbrella allows an array of projects and activities to draw upon FAO's multidisciplinary technical know-how and worldwide experience in the area of fisheries and aquaculture.

Jackie Alder, FISHCODE Manager

Email: Jackie.alder

Fisheries and Aquaculture Division (FIAX)


General management and strategic leadership of the technical branches, and implementation of the activities of the Division.


The Division exercises overall management responsibility including planning, supervising and implementing the programme of work and budget in the service's competences, including extra-budgetary activities. It provides strategic, budgetary and administrative oversight, supervising staff, and coordinating activities with other concerned units of FAO, including regional and sub-regional offices.

Manuel Barange, Director

Email: FIA-Director

Audun Lem, Deputy-Director

Email: Audun.lem

Vera Agostini, Deputy-Director

Email: Vera.Agostini

Aquaculture Branch (FIAA)


The Aquaculture Branch (FIAA) is responsible for programmes and activities related to sustainable development and management of marine, coastal and inland aquaculture, with regards to technical, socio-economic and environmental aspects, and conservation of aquatic ecosystems, including biodiversity.


The Branch provides information, policy advice and technical assistance, including capacity building, to FAO Members on improved techniques and management systems for the culture of fish and other aquatic organisms in fresh, brackish and marine waters, promoting sound environmentally friendly practices in lakes, rivers and coastal areas, in accordance with current assessment and management standards and best practices for aquaculture. It keeps FAO Members up to date about the latest developments related to economic and social aspects of aquaculture developments, including the sector’s contributions to food security and livelihood support. It ensures cooperation and coordination with other institutions and programmes in and outside FAO, both governmental and non-governmental, concerned with the development of aquaculture to meet social, economic and environmental aims.

Matthias Halwart, Branch Head ad interim

Email: Matthias.Halwart

Marine and Inland Fisheries Branch (FIAF)


The Marine and Inland Fisheries Branch (FIAF) is responsible for the assessment and monitoring of the world fishery resources and all programmes and activities related to management and conservation of fishery resources, including biodiversity, threatened species, vulnerable habitats, and ecosystem concerns in fisheries management through an ecosystem approach to fisheries.


The Branch provides information, advice and technical assistance to FAO Members in support of the sustainable management of marine and inland fisheries, including the development of management plans, in accordance with modern assessment and management standards, international agreements, and best practices for responsible fisheries; monitors the status and trends of global fish stocks; provides information, advice and technical assistance to FAO Members on reducing the impact of fisheries and on mitigation and adaptations measures to climate change, in the context of the contribution of capture fisheries to food security and livelihoods globally; ensures cooperation and coordination with other institutions and programmes in and outside FAO, both governmental and non-governmental, concerned with responsible fisheries.

Yimin Ye, Branch Head

Email: Yimin.ye

Fishing Operations and Technology Branch (FIAO)


The Fishing Operations and Technology Branch (FIAO) has primary responsibility to transfer and promote the use of appropriate technologies, infrastructure, equipment and practices in the operation of marine and inland fisheries.


In support of the sustainable use of fisheries and aquaculture resources, FIAO provides technical guidance on the design, construction, operation and use of vessels and fishing gear, and works with stakeholders involved with fishing and related activities at all levels. Within its remit, FIAO is responsible for the development of international instruments and guidelines, and the provision of technical assistance to: increase economic efficiency; reduce waste and minimize environmental damage caused by fishing operations and fishing practices; improve the socio-economic viability and livelihoods in small-scale fisheries; make vessels and fishing gear safer for all users; assist in responding to emergencies; support disaster preparedness and disaster risk management implementation and policies; and enhance the operational effectiveness of monitoring, control and surveillance, in particular to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Matthew Camilleri, Branch Head

Email: matthew.camilleri

Statistics and Information Branch (FIAS)


The Statistics and Information Branch is responsible for the collection, compilation, validation, analysis and dissemination of reliable, up-to-date statistics and integrated information on all aspects of world fisheries and aquaculture.


The Branch coordinates and provides advice, assistance, and information to FAO Members on the development of international standards and guidelines for fishery and aquaculture statistics, and supports capacity building for the implementation of best practices in fishery statistics; collates, validates, analyses and disseminates statistics at the global level, and for some regions; supports partnership arrangements for the collation and sharing of information and delivery of internet-based data services; provides access to global and integrated fishery and aquaculture knowledge base via corporate library resources and internet-based information systems; provides editorial support and facilitates communication and preparation of publications and web pages according to corporate standards.

Marc Taconet, Branch Head

Email: marc.taconet

Policy, Economics and Institutions Branch (FIAP)


The Policy, Economics and Institutions Branch (FIAP) is responsible for programmes and activities from global to local levels that are aimed at improving fisheries governance, policy and management for sustainable food and economic security within an ecosystem framework.


The Branch provides information, advice and technical assistance to FAO Members by supporting the development, implementation and amendment of fisheries and related relevant instruments within the framework of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, including the elaboration and implementation of specific guidelines and plans of action; facilitating coordination, collaboration, action and knowledge-exchange for global and regional fisheries governance among all players concerned with capture fisheries; coordinating and supporting regional fishery bodies (RFBs); improving global knowledge and access to information about best management approaches and practices; sharing policy and management expertise; providing neutral platforms for exchanging experiences; and providing advice, assistance and information to FAO Members on governance, policies, and management for sustainable fisheries. FIAP hosts the Secretariat of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI); coordinates departmental inputs to other FAO's statutory bodies and seeks to undertake its work in collaboration and consultation with governments, other international organizations, international and national non-governmental and civil society organizations, academia, fisherfolk and fishing communities.

Rebecca Metzner, Branch Head

Email: rebecca.metzner

Products, Trade and Marketing Branch (FIAM)


The Product, Trade and Marketing Branch (FIAM) promotes the improvement of the efficiency of all operations which take place between fish harvesting (captured or farmed fish) and consumption, ensuring an efficient, inclusive and sustainable utilization of fisheries and aquaculture resources. The Branch acts as the Secretariat for the Sub-Committee on Fish Trade of COFI, and it assists Members to optimize utilization of captured and cultured fish to extract maximum economic, as well as nutritional, value from fisheries and aquaculture resources, including small-scale operators. It also monitors, provides analyses and reports on development and trends in international fish post-harvest activities, markets, and trade to support transparent and equitable distribution of the derived benefits among Members and stakeholders.


The Branch develops periodic reviews of the situation and outlook of principle fishery commodity markets; proposes suitable measures to promote international trade in fish and fishery products to improve the participation of developing countries in this trade; promotes international quality and safety standards and the harmonization of quality assurance, traceability, certification, inspection procedures, and regulations; formulates recommendations for a comprehensive fishery commodity development, including processing methods and other value chain improvements in developing countries, and for small-scale and artisanal fishers; provide technical assistance and capacity building activities related to operations taking place between fish harvesting and consumption; carry on special studies on post-harvest issues and recommends possible solutions; promotes improved fish utilization, through strengthened work on the avoidance of post-harvest losses and the development of new products based on by-products and under-utilized resources, as well promoting the role of fish in nutrition; develops codes of practice, standards, guidelines, harmonized schemes and other similar instruments related to fisheries post-harvest activities, including product safety, utilization, commercialization, trade, as well as the monitoring of their implementation. The Branch acts as the Secretariat for Sub-Committee on Fish Trade of COFI, organizing the biannual meetings and ensuring follow up on the recommendations coming from the Member Countries. These activities are developed through consultation with governments, academia, other international organizations and non-governmental organizations.

John Ryder, Branch Head

Email: john.ryder

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