FAO Fisheries Department

Positive results of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries



A recent study highlighted the benefits of implementing the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Focusing on five ecological indicators to quantify the ecosystem effects of fishing, the analysis found that compliance with the Code increases the sustainability of fisheries regardless of the region. It also warns of the negative ecological effects when such international instruments are not honoured.

The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and its related International Plans of Action and Strategies are voluntary instruments widely recognized by governments and NGOs as the global standard for the sustainable development and management of fisheries and aquaculture, and as a basis for reviewing and adopting national fisheries legislation. Since its adoption in 1995, the Code has served as the key pillar of FAO’s mandate and mission for fisheries and aquaculture.

The independent scientific study, published in the journal “Global Environmental Change”, also includes a minimum compliance threshold above which the Code of Conduct would be effective in increasing the ecological sustainability of exploited aquatic ecosystems. These positive results underpin the importance of the work of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department in assisting developing countries to adopt responsible fisheries and aquaculture practices in line with the Code.