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Blue Growth

The world’s marine and freshwater ecosystems – the Blue World – provide food and livelihoods, essential ecosystem services and biodiversity for hundreds of millions of people. Increasing pollution, over-exploitation, Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and climate change have become major threats to these aquatic eco-systems - and underpin the need for more resource efficient, integrated and socially inclusive concepts.

Sustainably unlocking the potential of seas and oceans.

FAO promotes sustainable fishery and aquaculture policies and practices to achieve sustainable use of living aquatic resources. The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) has been in place for two decades – and continues to be the global reference framework to achieve this.

In 2013, FAO launched the Blue Growth Initiative (BGI), which builds on the CCRF and focuses on fisheries, aquaculture, ecosystem services, trade and social protection. It advocates ways to balance economic growth, social development, food security, and sustainable use of aquatic living resources.

Key policy messages

·        Ocean and inland fisheries and aquaculture are among humanity’s best opportunities to serve the world’s growing population highly nutritious and safe food with a low ecological impact.

·        Sustainable management of marine and aquatic ecosystem is a prerequisite for future food security and livelihoods, as well as regulating climate, moderating extreme weather events and supporting life cycles.

·        The Blue Growth Initiative (BGI) is an inclusive and participatory approach to foster sustainable fisheries management. The aim is to safeguard food security and decent work benefits derived from wild fish stocks; as well as exploring alternative sources of food security and decent work, such as aquaculture.

·        The BGI explores ways for economic diversification in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, particularly through synergies with growing sectors, such as tourism. Moreover, BGI increases system and energy efficiencies while adding value along the fisheries and aquaculture value chains.

·        The BGI contributes to the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by improving the use of aquatic resources and conserving biodiversity. One of the BGI’s tools is the CCRF, which takes into account the economic, nutritional, social, environmental and cultural importance of fisheries and aquaculture.

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