Fisheries and aquaculture are fundamental sources of food, livelihoods, trade and recreation for people around the world. Responsible global stewardship is needed to safeguard all living aquatic resources for present and future generations. The challenges to achieving sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture are global and require coordinated action.

FAO is the global institution dealing with fisheries and aquaculture issues. As part of its mandate, it fosters global, regional and national sustainable development initiatives to secure responsible fisheries worldwide. Guided by its Committee on Fisheries (COFI) and the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department works with the United Nations system and other specialized agencies, programmes and funds.

Specifically, the Department:

  • makes available technical information, guidelines and standards and provides technical advice and assistance to FAO Members in enhancing fisheries and aquaculture development at the national, regional and global levels;
  • facilitates FAO’s role in providing a neutral forum for States and other stakeholders to discuss global fisheries and aquaculture issues, taking into consideration the views and interests of civil society organizations and the private sector;
  • contributes to the implementation of relevant United Nations General Assembly resolutions and reporting obligations on Oceans and the Law of the Sea, Sustainable Fisheries and any other special and periodic reports requested by the Assembly;
  • provides assistance in the administration of global development assistance schemes, e.g. the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA), and the Agreement on Port State Measures;
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