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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nationsfor a world without hunger

"The right to fish carries with it the obligation to do so in a responsible manner so as to ensure effective conservation and management of the living aquatic resources."


Fisheries, including aquaculture, provide a vital source of food, employment, recreation, trade and economic well-being for people throughout the world, both for present and future generations and should therefore be conducted in a responsible manner. National and international fisheries policies and management practices that better reflect the principles of the Code of Conduct will lead to an improved and sustainable economic, social and environmental contribution of the fisheries sector. The optimisation of the contribution of fisheries to achieving benefits in terms of food, employment, recreation and trade as well as ecosystem and socio-economic well-being will benefit populations throughout the world.

To promote long-term sustainable fisheries, in 1995 the FAO Conference adopted the  FAO. Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries , available in the following languages - Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, German, Estonian, Spanish, French, Icelandic, Italian, Polish, Sinhalese, Slovenian, Tamil, Thai - accessible from the link above.

To assist with the wider dissemination of the Code of Conduct as requested by the FAO Committee on Fisheries, a booklet, entitled What is the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries? has been produced.




FAO has translated this non-technical publication into the official languages of the Organization. The Code has also been translated into a large number of other languages. The FAO Bay of Bengal Programme translated the document into Bengali, Dhivehi, Guajarati, Hindi, Marathi, Oriya, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telugu. In cooperation with the University of the South Pacific, Fiji, FAO had the document translated into the languages of the Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tuvalu).It describes, in a non-technical manner, important aspects of the Code of Conduct. The purpose of the publication is to create greater awareness of the goals and purpose of the Code and to encourage its effective application in all capture fisheries and in aquaculture. The booklet does not replace the Code of Conduct but simply presents some of the complex information contained within the Code in a simplified form in an attempt to make it more accessible to all users of fisheries.


This project supports the implementation of the Code, which involves, in varying degrees, all units of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and associated regional teams. The Code sets out principles and international standards of behaviour for responsible practices with a view to ensuring the effective conservation, management and development of living aquatic resources, with due respect for the ecosystem and biodiversity. The Code recognizes the nutritional, economic, social, environmental and cultural importance of fisheries and the interests of all those concerned with the fishery sector. The Code takes into account the biological characteristics of the resources and their environment and the interests of consumers and other users.

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