The Role of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition - E-consultation to set the track of the study

11.03.2013 - 12.04.2013

Duly recognising the significant role played by fisheries and aquaculture in food security and nutrition, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in its thirty-ninth Session (October 2012) requested the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE), to undertake a study on the Role of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture for food security and nutrition to be presented to the Plenary in 2014. “In this study, CFS requires the HLPE to consider the environmental, social and economic aspects of fisheries including artisanal fisheries, as well as a review of aquaculture development. The report of this study has to be policy oriented, practical and operational”.


As part of its report elaboration process, the HLPE is now launching an e-consultation to seek views, public feedback and comments, on the proposed orientation of the study and on key aspects that the report proposes to address, in line with the request from the CFS, and which could form the building blocks of the report. The feedback received will be used by the HLPE Steering Committee to finalize the terms of reference of the Study and HLPE Project Team that will be appointed to prepare the study and policy recommendations.

To download the proposed scope, please click here.
If you wish to contribute, send an email or use the form below.

The consultation is open until 12th April 2013.


In parallel, the HLPE is calling for experts interested in participating in the Project Team for this report. Information on this call is available on the HLPE website. The HLPE Steering Committee will appoint the Project Team after review of candidatures.

The HLPE Steering Committee

Piero Mannini, David Currie, Cherif Toueilib, Lori Curtis FAO,

Please find below a contribution to the e-consultation, which provides input in the context of fisheries and aquaculture in the Near East and North Africa.

The below text reflects the consolidated contributions from:

Piero Mannini, Senior Fishery Officer, FAO RNE (Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa)
David Currie, Fishery and Aquaculture Officer, FAO SNG (Subregional Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council States & Yemen)
Cherif Toueilib, Fishery and Aquaculture Officer, FAO SNE (Subregional Office for North Africa)
Lori Curtis, Fisheries Socio-Economist, FAO RNE (Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa)

  1. How can the implementation of the FAO “Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and Aquaculture” be further improved globally for sustainable aquatic resource management?

In the Near East and North Africa region (RNE), much of the fisheries are contained in relatively enclosed waterbodies, where stocks are shared between a number of different countries, (eg. Mediterranean, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, Gulf), in addition to the number of transboundary freshwater systems (Nile, Tigris-Euphrates, Senegal River). In this context, a regional approach for developing field programmes that embody the ecosystem approach to fisheries and aquaculture will enhance the effectiveness of the CCRF, particularly in the area of shared stocks, where one country applying the CCRF is rendered much less effective unless all concerned parties implement the same. Regional fishery bodies such as GFCM, RECOFI and CSRP COPACE can be used as a platform to address these, as well as the creation of a regional fisheries management mechanism/arrangement for the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. A specific effort should be undertaken to increase the participatory approach and private and public cooperation to implement the CCRF guidelines as well as to harmonize statistics, stock assessment, legislation and management mechanisms concerning the shared stock and role of recruitment, breeding and nursing areas.

  1. How will nations maintain the integrity of the resource base (the source of food) in the face of these pressures, and the livelihoods dependent on them?

Engaging in fisheries management at different levels; ensuring engagement at the community, national and regional levels is key for supporting an ecosystem approach to maintaining the integrity of the resource base.  As mentioned above, regional cooperation is critical, as water bodies in RNE are all shared; cooperation between countries, and between different stakeholders on the use of ecosystem services is essential. Additionally, fishing is one of a number of activities which use and interact with the ecosystem; engagement for adopting a multi-disciplinary approach and providing a platform for this engagement is critical to ensure that all actors interacting with the ecosystem understand their relationship with it in terms of their livelihoods activities, and to develop actions to minimize these impacts. Understanding and disseminating knowledge on the functions and services provided by these systems and how to work in a manner that is harmonized with the ecosystem is important for optimal results, improved efficiency and sustainability. An example in the Near East North Africa Region which demonstrates how a lack of understanding of these systems and functions can contribute to the unsustainable exploitation of resources is the over-exploitation of the sea cucumber in the Red Sea; a regional fisheries management plan informed by a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem services and functions with the engagement of resource users can provide a starting point for a sustainable fishery where stakeholders are able to benefit from ecosystems while minimizing impacts. Lastly, regional concerted multidisciplinary suites of fisheries and aquaculture performance and sustainability are needed to tackle resources sustainability at both the national and regional levels.

Sub regional management plans for shared stocks and reducing fishing capacity efforts on resources that demonstrate serious indications of overfishing should be  promoted, for example for sardines, octopus in North Africa. The Morocco and Mauritanian Octopus plan is one example in terms of formulation but the implementation still requires further efforts. By-catch management plans can also contribute to reducing overfishing of the main demersal fisheries as they can spread the global effort on the fishing area and fishing species.

  1. What are the key socioeconomic issues which affect the sustainability and development of fisheries and aquaculture?

A number of activities in the Near East and North Africa region have been undertaken in order to better understand the socio-economic dimensions of fisheries.  The Regional Commission for Fisheries (RECOFI) held a workshop on the “Social and Economic Aspects of Fisheries in the RECOFI Region” (report available online:, the discussion at which raised a number of issues, some which may be common among fishers globally and some which may be unique to the Region, for example, the high rate of foreign laborers engaging in the sector, with limited rights and relationship with the geographic area. As well, that fishers are often seriously impacted by coastal development with which they have no engagement or involvement.

Additionally, an assessment of the social and economic context of fishers in Egypt demonstrated that the socio-economic context can be very different within one country, for example fishers fishing along the Nile face different challenges than those fishing in the Red Sea or the Mediterranean, and the same is experienced in countries along the Atlantic. Additionally, the impact of the increase in aquaculture production is key in keeping the prices of fish low and thus maintaining its critical role as a protein source for the poor, however fishers in the Nile who are struggling with apparently stabilized production levels and rising costs are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their livelihoods. Adding to this is the growing economic and political instability in parts of the region, which results in limited options for livelihood diversification. In certain parts of Egypt, fisheries are engaged in by a number of household members, some of the work is not necessarily valued, eg. women’s involvement in cleaning nets, etc., and so the whole supply chain needs to be considered in order to take all socio-economic issues into account. Additionally, a lack of organization of the fishers creates a sense of powerlessness and makes it extremely difficult to engage with policy makers at higher levels. The development of fisher associations can be a mechanism through which to engage with fishers, and for fishers to have their concerns addressed at higher levels. Engaging in fisheries management at different levels, and ensuring engagement at the community, national and regional levels are all included is a critical component to ensure that policies and decisions are meaningful and effective. 

The FAO EastMed project has begun to engage in the socio-economics of fisheries in Lebanon, the results and discussions of which are detailed in the recently published report, available here:

In the case of Atlantic fisheries some important results coming out from the APAM project in Mauritania and the TCP on small scale fisheries project in Morocco or the clumps project in Tunisia shows that the contribution of small scale fisheries in terms of employment, added value and food security or gender and youth activities see: and 

The conflict that occurs between industrial and artisanal fleets, particularly in the coastal zones is reducing the contribution of small scale fisheries. A best geographic management and adapted distribution of effort will certainly optimize the outcomes of fisheries in terms of food security

  1. To what extent can contributions be made to policy development and have considerable impact on securing small-scale fisheries/artisanal fisheries in their fundamental rights and creating benefits, especially in terms of food security and poverty reduction?

FAO held a meeting entitled “Near East and North Africa Regional Consultative Meeting on Securing Small-Scale Fisheries: Bringing Together Responsible Fishing and Social Development”, in March 2012 in the Sultanate of Oman. The meeting report is available here: and the main outcomes with regards to policy making included:

  • Better cross-sectoral coordination and policy coherence are needed – at national and regional levels – avoiding contradictory objectives.
  • The involvement of all stakeholders, including in particular small-scale fisheries communities, in policy and decision-making processes is essential. Improved coordination among CSOs is also required.
  • The small-scale fisheries sector needs to be included in national development policies and plans. Such plans should also take the sustainability of resources into consideration.

When it is possible and appropriate, small scale fisheries should benefit from specific management and development plans that lead to increase the share of small scale fisherman and women. The impact of producing for foreign markets and local markets must be considered, as well as the how small-scale fisheries can contribute to and benefit from local markets and consumption. Small scale producers organizations can play a very important role to promote participation of the small scale fisheries actors in the conception and implementation of a sustainable policies and plans

  1. How can the gender specific needs and rights of women be protected through enforceable rights over land, water resources, credit and other related matters?

In much of the region, women face social constraints in access to livelihoods opportunities and resources, and in some cases in their rights over land. Progress has been made on these issues over the last few decades however in response to pressure and support from both international and local actors. The ‘Arab Spring’ has also played a role in democratization and greater awareness of women’s rights. International organizations such as the United Nations can continue to influence member countries towards more balanced treatment of men and women and the strengthening of enforceable rights to resources and the ownership of land. Communications at the base and top level can facilitate the participation of more women in small scale fisheries, and granting credit and facilities in their favor particularly in terms of product valorization will be beneficial. Networking involving women from various sub region to share success is another means for encouraging and facilitating the participation of women.  

  1. What continuous improvements in institutional capacities (both national and regional) is critical for the success of management and governance of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture?

Institutional capacity in the Near East North Africa region is a critical challenge impacting fisheries management. Technical capacity on the importance of working with fish as a shared resource is important. Cooperation and collaboration between government, research institutes, the private sector and CSOs across the Region can facilitate a growing network of those with the required technical expertise in certain areas on issues which are common across the Region.

  1. How sustainable aquaculture can be promoted for food security and nutrition, as well as livelihoods, into the longer term?

Climate change impacts, competition for scarce water resources, and population increases in the Near East North Africa Region result in the need for stable fish production as a means for food security.  The amount and types of water resources available must be considered in order to appropriately develop policies on sustainable aquaculture. The approach must be multi-disciplinary and engage with not only Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries, but also Ministries responsible for water resources and irrigation. In some cases, where freshwater systems feed into marine systems, (Nile, Shatt Al-Arab), given the changing environment and the interaction between the different water types, marine tolerant species should be considered. Projections on future water allocation and plans, as well as climate change projections with regards to their impact on available water resources must be taken into account. FAO has been engaging in a number of reviews and activities in the Region, including policy prospective for the water use of the Shatt Al-Arab for fisheries and aquaculture in Iraq; a review of fisheries and aquaculture activities in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin including Syria, Turkey and Iraq and is working with member countries to develop aquaculture systems and production.

  1. What policies are necessary for fair and improved trading?

There are opportunities created by connecting with markets in countries that were previously difficult to reach; these countries/markets can create demand for new species that were not previously exploited, however understanding how to properly manage these sectors and species are key for ensuring the sustainability of the sector. Additionally, and particularly with small-scale fishers, understanding and communicating the value-added options in terms of processing and identifying different end users is key to ensure that households that may be more vulnerable are able to maximize potential benefits from the sector. Ensuring training and education on the entire supply chain can assist fishers increase their power in the value-chain; particularly as they are often the most vulnerable currently; eg. Nile fishers do not have much power in influencing price as there are limited traders and consumers prefer fresh fish, meaning fishers have limited time from catch to sales.

The facilitation and adoption of trade procedures and regulation measures throughout the region that is beneficial for small-scale and artisanal fishers is required. Viewing the Near East and North Africa region as a unique and global market and production area to encourage partnerships and cooperation between producers themselves and the private sector. Transaction financial procedures and regulations and currencies rate are also important aspects to be facilitated as these currently acts as constraints which reduce trade within this area.  Sanitary regulation from country to country should be harmonized to better facilitate trade options.

  1. What would promote fish value chain development that supports food security and nutrition?

Education on the entire value chain, understanding how waste is actually income loss, identifying end markets and knowledge on how to utilize fish catch more fully can all be used to promote fish value chain development.

Providing information on various markets and uses of fish products and to encourage fishers and decision makers to produce for food security for the poor. The promotion of the artisanal process for conservation and the valorization of artisanal products are also key. Promotion of a different methods for cooking fish can be undertaken, as well as better promotion of the nutritional benefits of fish.

  1. What other policies and relevant technology options are available for waste minimization, better resource accountability and management?
  • To look at Policies and technology options as an element of a global approach of food security strategy and not to take it far from the global context. To create a kind of complementarities throughout the cold process adapted to various type of food: animal meat, fruit, fish to reduce the cost of industry particularly rural  areas.
  • Solar energy promotion can improve consumption of fish and create a next way to prepare new artisanal fish products
  • Scholar education and communication is necessary in the Near East and North AFrica region to change the behavior and increase consumption per inhabitant
Michèle Mesmain SLOW FOOD, Italy

The role of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in improving food security and nutrition is a complex issue. The need to tackle it on many fronts and levels simultaneously is well highlighted in the HLPE document “The Role of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition” and relative comments. Recognizing this and addressing it is necessary, an enormous challenge, but also an opportunity.

In most cases, we can see sectorized, compartmented and fractioned management and use of the resources, and this is perhaps the first thing we must learn to avoid. The lack of a broad common vision of coastal development has certainly had a large role in creating the current situation and is a deterrent to finding adequate solutions. This vision cannot be of a technical nature but must first and foremost be based around the following set of values:



  • Oceans are a common resource which must be shared for the benefit and well being of the population at large and in particular of coastal communities. This means that, among other topics, priority must be given to:
  • Food access by local populations;
  • Promotion of localized fleet diversity - policy designs that ensure that fishers can continue their livelihoods by sharing resources in a fair way that is also ecologically sound, while private ownership, concentration and speculations are heavily discouraged;
  • Investing a large part of the financial return gained from selling national resources to a foreign fleet in local infrastructure that benefits local fishing fleets and markets and in training programs, especially where communities are largely dependent on fisheries.


Collective stewardship

As all common resources, oceans, lakes and waterways must be stewarded, on all fronts. It is a collective responsibility which largely begins on land. Stewardship does not mean preserving ecosystems in the state they would be in the absence of human activities, but using land and aquatic ecosystems to the maximum possible level they can support without compromising their capacity to renew themselves. A fisheries management plan cannot make sense without a corresponding environmental management plan that addresses the impact of all human action on the whole ecosystem, from vegetal life to plankton (which incidentally produces half the oxygen in our atmosphere) to top predators, also considering acidification, which is an even bigger threat than overfishing. This also means making sure that any aquatic exploitation matches environmental measures to scale (this is hard to achieve without maintaining flexible and diverse fleets, or without reasoning in terms of vital cycles).


Value of fish and aquatic food

Food in general and fish in particular cannot be regarded as any other commodity. Fish is unique and our last abundant wild source of some of the best proteins and nutrients there are, hence priority must be given to direct human consumption over animal feed. We must also address distorted market situations that concentrate the economic value on a few species (consumers pay more than 60 dollars for a kilogram of some species, while other valuable and nutritious species fetch as little as $US150 a ton). Bycatch, in particular, must be resolved by addressing its causes (lack of selectiveness of fishing gear, unbalanced market value, quotas, ineffective size limit measures), and not by landing the catches for a secondary market.


Strengthening local institutions, transparency and dialogue

Cultural and biological diversity is such that we cannot reasonably expect top down, generalized measures to solve our problems. Again, solutions need to focus on scale matching scale. Considering the prohibitive overall costs of fine-scale assessment, policy design, implementation and enforcement, solutions must be adapted to every ecosystem and culture and bottom-up solutions and management must absolutely be promoted by giving local institutions as much space and legitimacy as possible. We need to create or strengthen the conditions that allow this instead of continuously degrading them. This starts with participative, open dialogue and transparency at all levels, from policy lobbying to bilateral agreements markets and price fixation mechanisms.


Protection of cultural, as well as biological, diversity

Some traditions, fishing arts, ways of life and institutions have lasted for centuries. They are part of our identities, testimonies of our past and still have value and potential to contribute to a changing, much unknown future environment, especially at times where societies at large must prioritize job creation.

International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) , India

The orientation and scope of the study should be within the overarching framework of a human rights-based approach (HRBA) (as understood within the United Nations system) that recognizes the right to food as a fundamental right, and that has a particular focus on marginalized and vulnerable groups, including women.

It is suggested that the questions asked need to be rephrased substantively and that note needs to be taken of the report on fisheries and food security presented by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food to the United Nations General Assembly in October 2012.

Specific comments on each of the questions follow:

  1. How can the implementation of the FAO “Code of Conduct “for Responsible Fisheries and Aquaculture” be further improved globally for sustainable aquatic resource management?

Under Question 1, reference should be made to the FAO process underway of developing Guidelines on small-scale fisheries, a process that has significant significance for food and nutritional security. The SSF Guidelines are seen as complementing the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF)

It should be noted that the CCRF does not have aquaculture in the title, though there is a section on aquaculture.

  1. How will nations maintain the integrity of the resource base (the source of food) in the face of these pressures, and the livelihoods dependent on them?

Question 2 should rather be: How will nations maintain the integrity of the resource base (the source of food) and the livelihoods, particularly of marginalized and vulnerable groups, dependent on them in the face of these pressures?

Another key issue is the need for national and international administrations to develop national as well as regional plans and strategies for sustainability, based on an ecosystem approach and precautionary principles, ensuring public participation, especially of marginalized and vulnerable groups, and taking into account the role of fisheries and aquaculture in coastal and inland communities.

With reference to an ecosystem approach, and in the context of the overall framework within which the study should be scoped, it needs to be mentioned that an ecosystem approach should be consistent with a human rights-based approach.

  1. What are the key socioeconomic issues which affect the sustainability and development of fisheries and aquaculture?

Question 3 should rather be: What are the key socioeconomic issues which affect the sustainability and development of fisheries and aquaculture, and how can these be addressed in such a way as to ensure that fisheries and aquaculture contribute optimally to food, nutritional and livelihood security?

The sub questions could be: What mechanisms are needed in the responsible governance of fisheries and aquaculture to facilitate adopting a socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable approach, with fair and responsible tenure systems which secure the rights of local communities, and particularly of vulnerable and marginalized groups within them, to life and livelihood, whilst promoting food and nutritional security? What kind of fisheries management policies should be pursued to ensure equity and sustainability of resources? How can decent work and social protection (with obvious implications for food and nutritional security), including through ratification of relevant ILO Conventions, be ensured in fisheries and aquaculture?

The effort should be to promote sustainable development (rather than stress on economic growth) that balances social, economic and environmental objectives, consistent with the Rio+20 Outcome document.

  1. To what extent can contributions be made to policy development and have considerable impact on securing small-scale fisheries /artisanal fisheries in their fundamental rights and creating benefits, especially in terms of food security and poverty reduction?

Question 4 may be rephrased as follows: To what extent can contributions be made to policy development to secure the fundamental rights of small-scale fishing communities, including workers (both men and women) engaged in all aspects of small-scale and artisanal fisheries and aquaculture, and to improve their circumstances, especially in terms of food security and poverty elimination.

Again mention needs to be made of the FAO process underway to develop Guidelines on small-scale fisheries.

It should be noted that current policies for privatizing common property fisheries and coastal area resources are designed to minimize or exclude the role of the State and to permit the market to play a key role (example, through trading of fishing quotas and aquaculture concessions). Such policies are consolidating the exclusion of small scale fisheries, indigenous coastal peoples and coastal communities, and are favouring the economic concentration and transnationalization of the national fisheries and aquaculture sectors.     

It should also be noted that apart from policy development, specific initiatives are needed to support small-scale capture and culture fisheries to secure their rights, including through supporting their better organization and representation in decision making processes. It also should be noted that small scale inland fisheries faces similar threats like small-scale coastal fisheries.

  1. How can the gender specific needs and rights of women be protected through enforceable rights over land, water resources, credit and other related matters?

Question 5 needs to be rephrased. A better formulation would be: How can the rights and interests of women working in the fisheries sector and of women of small scale fishing communities, be protected in all aspects of fisheries and aquaculture, taking note of the specific forms of discrimination facing them, including through facilitating their better organization and representation in decision making and through securing their rights to land and fisheries resources, credit and other productive resources and services?

It should be noted that women do not face handicaps, but they face unequal rights and discrimination!

What continuous improvements in institutional capacities (both national and regional) is critical for the success of management and governance of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture?

The scoping needs to specifically discuss the importance of supporting/ facilitating local institutions, applying a social relations analysis, given that social relations, in particular gender, class, age and ethnic relations are reflected in institutions. There is need to ensure that marginalized and vulnerable groups are not excluded, as this will also affect the success of management and governance of fisheries and aquaculture. 

The scoping also needs to highlight the importance of giving priority to and strengthening national scientific capacity, and research in aquatic biodiversity and marine ecosystems, giving equal importance to local and indigenous knowledge, given the deep crisis in many of the world’s fishery management systems and with several of the world’s fisheries overexploited.

Key tools for the governance of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture are public scrutiny and transparency. Ways in which a binding political process that permits citizens organizations, coastal communities and indigenous people to access relevant information, and that allows them to participate effectively in defining policies and management measures in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, need to be explored    

  1. How sustainable aquaculture can be promoted for food security and nutrition, as well as livelihoods, into the longer term?

Question 7 needs rephrasing along the lines: "What kinds of aquaculture are sustainable and with the potential to enhance food security and nutrition, as well as provide livelihoods, into the longer term, and how should/ could these be developed/ promoted?"

The write-up should highlight the need to explore the role that myriad forms of integrated and low-input small-scale aquaculture play in contributing to food and nutritional security of rural and other populations.

The focus in the current text is more on export-oriented intensive forms of aquaculture. Questions that need to be asked are whether such models are sustainable in the longer-term, given that they are based on the cultivation of exotic carnivorous species, government subsidies, technology packages (antibiotics, chemicals, genetic engineering), cheap labour, use of fishmeal, energy, and the intensive use of local natural resources such as water and other coastal resources. The socio-economic costs, including closing of off access to traditional fishing grounds and resources and implications for food and nutritional security, salinization/ degradation of groundwater, violence faced by communities etc., and violations of labour rights, also need to be explored.

Local communities should be added to the question below as follows: How do we facilitate the development of integrated policies and management measures, which are effective and acceptable to both national and regional administrators AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES.

  1. What policies are necessary for fair and improved trading?

Question 8 needs to focus more on trade and food security, posing the question: What forms of trade promote food security and nutrition and contribute to human wellbeing and development, and how can these be developed effectively?

The sub-question could be: Considering the factors that are affecting the fisheries trade, it is essential to analyse fish trade issues with a food and nutrition lens and provide policy options that promote trading systems that enhance, rather than undermine food security and nutrition.

The analysis should focus particularly on small-scale fish producers and traders, with a particular attention for small scale women vendors and traders, and low-income consumers that are vulnerable from a food and nutrition perspective.

  1. What would promote fish value chain development that supports food security and nutrition?

Question 9 is better phrased as follows: How can the fish value chain be modified and improved to promote food and nutritional security, and to secure livelihoods, particularly of marginalized and vulnerable groups. The scoping needs to include a gender analysis of the fish value chain from a food and nutrition perspective.

Charmaine Marie Gallagher NMIT Aquaculture and Fishery Management Programme, New Zealand

Kia Ora,

I wish to participate in your consultation regarding the Scope of the Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition.

Specifically with regard to:

Number 4. To what extent can contributions be made to policy development and have considerable impact on securing small-scale fisheries/artisanal fisheries in their fundamental rights and creating benefits, especially in terms of food security and poverty reduction.

This is a big call with opportunities for policies on national, regional and local governments to support and uphold rights of artisanal fishers.

Please consider including small scale aquaculturists.

To what extent has the COFI been successful in their efforts to improve the profile of and understand the challenges for fishing communities?

Can some of these successes be applied to small scale aquaculture ventures?

Number 6. Continuous improvements in institutional capacities is critical for success of management and governance of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.

If you are successful with your Ecosystem Based Management described in Number 2,  then the water quality issues that are so critical to both aquaculture and fisheries can be scientifically determined with metrics or quantifiable standards for measurement and tolerance.

Number 7. If aquaculture can be promoted for a diverse range of species, then disease outbreak in a single species may not have a catastrophic effect on a region. Resilience from economic disaster (as a result of monoculture disease outbreak) can be avoided with species diversity. In addition, it is not just economies of scale that promote profits; rather economic incentives should exist for local feed development and sourcing, diversity in product promotion (multiple species marketed) so that both fisheries and aquaculture can benefit from the transport, shipping, storage, harvesting, ice, vessels, feed, fuel and other inputs that will support entire communities. In addition to cooperatives, there may be some value in cooperating financially on a water body based scale (bays, inlets, estuaries, sounds) regarding the expensive science of water quality.

Number 10. Policies and relevant technology options for waste minimisation, better resource accountability and management.

As stated in Number 7, some realistic and relevant source of  industry body that can collect levies, cooperate on water quality management issues and work with government and scientists to promote economic use and to ensure degradation of the environment is avoided. This requires a small contribution from all parties (fisheries and aquaculture) but it will collectively get the attention of science and government in driving appropriate regional policies.

One of the ideas that you may or may not have captured is the power of social license.

As both mariculture and marine fisheries are dependent on the coastal environment, the conflicts with social uses become confounded in expectations, fears and bias and lead to unnecessary strife.

Much of the scientific evidence is difficult to forecast, but ground based science and appropriate monitoring, action and contingency plans can go a long way to alleviate fear and to promote suitable industry codes of practice.

I hope this is helpful to your High Level Panel of Experts,


Dr Charmaine Marie Gallagher
NMIT Aquaculture and Fishery Management Programme
Puna Whakatupu Kaimoana
322 Hardy Street, Private Bag 19
Nelson, 7042, New Zealand

Achini De Silva Sabaragamuwa University, Sri Lanka

Fish  and seafood value chains runs across the regions and involved in different actors who belongs to both developed and developing nations. Developments of ICT will bridge the gap between fish producers and consumers enabling through faster connection and communication.

Fish Informatics Platform will cater for the demands of social, economical and environmental components where scientists from developed and developing countries can collaborate to address real problems of food security and sustainability of fisheries. Further, advances of ICT will lead to connect both developed and developing country stakeholders of fish and seafood value chains, availability of open-source applications which are both cheap and amenable to innovative local adaptation and emergence of global ICT services which lower the information barriers.

Fish Informatics platform allows to share the scientifc information necessary to address the sustaionability issues of fisheries and aquaculture. Fish informatics Platform will connect value chain participants to share innovative startegies to empower the fish producers to make better prodcution and marketing decisions.

Milthon Lujan Peru

Estimados Sres.

En indudable el importante rol que tienen que jugar la pesca y acuicultura en el futuro para alimentar a una población en crecimiento; sin embargo, debemos diferenciar que mientras que la pesca tiene un potencial determinado, mientras que la acuicultura no. Quiero partir diferenciando la pesca y acuicultura; si bien son actividades que comparten el mismo medio (agua), tienen naturaleza totalmente distintas. Mientras la pesca se basa en la gestión de poblaciones pesqueras y la captura, la acuicultura se basa en el cultivo de los organismos. 

Como cualquier actividad humana, la acuicultura no esta exenta de generar impactos ambientales negativos o conflictos por el uso o acceso a los recursos (agua); en este sentido, se requiere seguir promoviendo los planes de ordenamiento territorial o gestión marinos costera, dependiendo del área de actuación, en donde se puedan definir la integración de la acuicultura con las demás actividades económicas que se vienen desarrollando.

Una de las principales preocupaciones es muchas veces los proyectos pilotos de acuicultura, que tienen como finalidad el promocionar la actividad, no vienen acompañados de análisis de rentabilidad, ni de la cadena de valor de la actividad; lo que frecuentemente conduce a brindar información errada a los potenciales inversionistas (micro o macro). Asimismo debemos diferenciar la rentabilidad sobre la base de economias de escala, y evaluar el potencial de asociatividad de los pequeños productores acuícolas para potenciar su desarrollo y capacidad de negociación, tanto con los proveedores como con los compradores.

Una de las principales criticas que se le hace a la acuicultura es la dependencia en la harina y aceite de pescado para la alimentación de algunas especies (principalmente salmónidos); en este sentido, se deben acelerar las investigaciones en nutrición para reducir esta dependencia, y promover la acuicultura de especies que se encuentran en los niveles más bajos de la cadena trófica debido a que estos si son productores netos de ácidos grasos omega-3.

Finalmente, creemos que la pesca y acuicultura requieren de políticas, códigos de conducta, estrategias de intervención, etc diferentes, de acuerdo a la naturaleza de cada actividad. 

Favognon Jean-Paul Ernest Kone Infopêche, Côte d'Ivoire

Au comité directeur du HLPE

Votre requête  fait partie de nos  préoccupations générales et singulièrement des miennes. Je souscris sans réserve à votre  vision et me tiens disponible pour apporter ma modeste contribution à la résolution du problème relatif à l'exploitation durable des ressources  halieutiques. Je crois sincèrement pouvoir apporter de par mon expérience et expertise en la matière, des propositions  pour une gestion responsable de la pêche et  de l'aquaculture pour produire durablement et assurer une sécurité  alimentaire en protéines. Les produits halieutiques représentent un bien inestimable offert par la nature à l’humanité pour la pourvoir en protéine animale à forte valeur nutritive,  disponible et accessible à toutes les couches sociales.

Le secteur des Pêches et de l’Aquaculture jouissant d’importantes règles et mesures conventionnelles pour lui assurer une  exploitation durable, souffre en bon nombre d’endroits d’une absence de moyens financiers, matériels et/ou de volonté politique courageuse pour leurs mises en œuvre.  L'appel actuel du Panel d'experts de Haut niveau (HLPE) du Comité de Sécurité Alimentaire Mondiale (CFS) est bien indiquée pour ressortir et valoriser le gigantesque travail abattu par la FAO, les Institutions de Recherche et experts du secteur halieutique. Au regard des expériences obtenues ici et là avec les applications de textes conventionnels, il y a lieu de réorienter ou compléter certaines dispositions stratégiques s’il en faut après lecture de leurs défaillances et limites dans le cadre de la résolution des  maux qui minent le secteur des Pêches et de l’Aquaculture.  Le mal, une fois bien circonscrit à chaque niveau, fera l’objet d’une mesure correctrice appropriée et applicable. Les mesures arrêtées suite au toilettage des textes et accords consensuels des parties impliquées auront force de loi pour s’imposer à tous.

Respectueusement vôtre.

KONE F. Jean-Paul Ernest

Expert Halieute; Consultant / Formateur

Emad Mahgoub Agricultural Researc Corporation, Sudan

A world population expected to be 9 billion humans by 2050, its growing share of urban citizens and a shift of lifestyles and diet patterns of the rising middle class in emerging economies place considerable strain on the planet’s resources. According to the FAO, food production will need to grow by 70% to feed world population in 2050 (Bruinsma, 2009). Further trends like global warming, declining freshwater resources, biodiversity or loss of fertile land, interconnected and closely linked to global food security, require an integrated and innovative approach to olutionfinding.
Sustainable food consumption and production is on top of political and scientific agendas (Nellemann et al., 2009; World Economic Forum 2009; FAO/OECD 2011; Foresight, 2011; EU ERA-NET SUSFOOD 2012-2014). Food is one of the most important drivers, along housing and transports, of environmental pressures and resource consumption (Tukker et al., 2008).
Environmental impacts occur all along the food chain including waste management. Escalating food prices of recent years have highlighted the already difficult access to food for the most vulnerable ones both in industrialized and in developing countries. In 2011, 18 million European citizens have benefit from food aid initiatives and worldwide, the share of the food insecure population is still scandalously high (FAO, 2010).

Lindsay Chapman Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), New Caledonia

Response from the Division of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME), Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)

Thanks to the HLPE for inviting comments and submissions on “The role of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture for food security and nutrition. We will provide some general comments to start and then comment under each of the key issues that have been identified.

General: The SPC through the FAME Division has been working in the area of fisheries and aquaculture for food security and small-scale livelihoods for many years and has produced some literature on this subject and these include Policy Brief 1/2008 on “Fish and food security” (, Planning the use of fish for food security in the Pacific Bell et al. (2009), Marine Policy 33: 64-76. and the “Vulnerability of tropical Pacific fisheries and aquaculture to climate change” ( where food security and livelihoods are themes covered in Chapters 11 to 13.

We also feel the document is too general, tries to cover everything and risks producing a document that may not be very useful. It would be better to focus on a few practical solutions.

Point 1: We feel this point is one that could be removed as there are other processes to review and implement the code of conduct.

Point 2: We certainly support and promote the ecosystem approach to fisheries, with more of a focus on community-based approaches in the Pacific, although there are many challenges. We do not see any discussion of the practical difficulties of implementing ecosystem based management, and there are many. The EAF is fine in principle, but it needs a simple commonsense approach.

Point 3: Socioeconomic issues and understanding these are very important to ensure the human factor is considered carefully. Community-based approaches to fisheries management are an appropriate way as it draws on the community structures and full participation of all the stakeholders.

Point 4: Overfishing in small-scale fisheries seems to be driven mainly by poverty and a lack of other opportunities. Broader economic development can help to solve these issues. Alternative approaches can also be used such as nearshore fish aggregation devices for tunas and coastal pelagic to assist small-scale artisanal fisheries and small-scale pond aquaculture in countries with adequate land and freshwater is available.

Fisheries subsidies should probably be an issue on its own as it does not fit well with this section.

Point 5: In the Pacific, not all women suffer from the handicaps listed (in parts of Melanesia title to land passes through the female line, for example). It would also be good to estimated the numbers of men and women employed in fisheries and associated services (the text just says ‘a significant portion’ are women) as this would seem like the first step in any kind of analysis of the issues.

An important issue here is to identify what are the barriers that may stop or discourage women or other disadvantaged groups from entering different work fields. Then the focus can be on removing or breaking down the barriers so that women can move into these work areas if they so choose.

Point 6: Institutional capacity is a big issue for fisheries departments in the Pacific (and many other government departments), with small staff numbers, limited budgets, and generally large mandates, covering oceanic fisheries, coastal fisheries and aquaculture.

For the internationally managed tuna fishery, regional fisheries management organizations exist, but for coastal fisheries in the Pacific, no such framework exists as the coastal resources for the most part are not shared resources.

Point 7: Clearly for the Pacific there are still opportunities to prevent the introduction of disease in aquaculture, and improved bio-security is key (not specifically mentioned in the text). We are not sure that ‘reviewing development and discussing policy options’ is going to achieve much – but it is a start. Reviewing aquaculture’s contribution to food security would be desirable.

Point 8: This is a complex field with a lot of other considerations and players involved. We do not think ‘providing policy options’ is going to help solve world trade barriers. We suggest it would be best to leave this out.

Point 9: Post harvest losses remain substantial in many fisheries, just as they are in most food production systems. There is no magic bullet here – just things like regulation to prevent/reduce discards in industrial fisheries and improved infrastructure (electricity, communications) for small scale fishing communities – again a broader development issue and not just fisheries.

Point 10: Utilization of fish waste (bones, guts, heads etc) from small-scale processing facilities is increasing and ways to process this into silage, fertilizer etc are being explored in the Pacific, although at small-scale operations.

Adèle Irénée Grembombo France

Ma contribution

  • Code de conduite pour une pêche responsable : Faire ressortir dans le code de conduite pour une pêche responsable, un article sur la pêche continentale et un deuxième article sur la pêche maritime. De telle sorte que  le code puisse être accessible à tous les acteurs.
  • Pêche continentale : La pêche continentale se fait dans les cours d’eau, les étangs, les marécages et les lagunes. La pêche est souvent artisanale, les problèmes sont liés à la surexploitation, à la raréfaction de certaines espèces de poisson et l’utilisation des produits chimiques, pharmaceutiques etc. Il faut mettre un accent sur la maille des filets à utiliser, prévoir des sanctions sévères en cas d’utilisation des produits chimiques.
  • La pêche maritime :, il faut renforcer les moyens pour contrôler la limitation des zones de pêche et le principe de pollueur-payeur et maîtriser le gaspillage.
  • L’aquaculture : exiger l’utilisation des méthodes de désinfection des eaux les plus performantes.
  • Pisciculture : développer une gestion intégrée (pisciculture-maraîchage)
  • Femmes : promotion de la pisciculture pour les femmes