FAO Fisheries Department

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture - 2012



In addition to striving to meet the United Nations Millennium Development

Goals, the global community is also grappling with other pressing and

complex challenges such as the widespread economic crisis and the

effects of climate change. It is in this context that this edition of

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture highlights the vital role

of fisheries and aquaculture in both food and nutrition security as well

as economic expansion. The sector remains a major supplier of

high-quality animal protein and supports the livelihoods and

well-being of more than ten percent of the world’s population.

International trade in fish has reached new peaks as overall production

has continued to rise. Yet, as the document underlines, an array of

problems – ranging from the need for more effective governance to

that of ensuring environmental sustainability – threatens to undermine

the sector’s valuable contribution to alleviating hunger and reducing


Using the latest available statistics on fisheries and aquaculture, this

edition presents a global analysis of the sector’s status and trends. It

also examines broader related issues such as gender, emergency

preparedness and the ecosystem approach to fisheries and aquaculture.

Selected highlights, from ecolabelling and certification to the effects of

fisheries management policies on fishing safety, provide insights on

specific topics. Finally, the document looks at the opportunities and

difficulties for capture fisheries in the coming decades.