Sustainable Development Goals
Fish accounts for 17 percent of the global population’s intake of animal protein 
Up to 57 million people are engaged in the primary fish production sector
Over 31 percent of fish stocks are overfished
Small-scale fisheries employ about 90 percent of those involved in fisheries.
About 90 percent of the world’s estimated 4.6 million fishing vessels are in Asia and Africa.

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources

Oceans, seas and coastal areas provide the world with numerous goods fundamental to human well-being and global food security.

Fisheries and aquaculture offer ample opportunities to reduce hunger and improve nutrition, alleviate poverty, generate economic growth and ensure better use of natural resources. Aquaculture is the fastest-growing food sector and has the potential to produce the fish needed to help meet the demands of a growing population.

However, overfishing threatens livelihoods, unmanaged aquaculture expansion can cause pollution and rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contribute to ocean acidification.

FAO initiatives focus on promoting good governance, participatory decision-making processes and best practices in fisheries. FAO's Blue Growth Initiative aims at harmonising the environmental, social and economic aspects of living aquatic resources to ensure equitable benefits for communities.


The success of the Sustainable Development Goals rests to a large extent on effective monitoring, review and follow-up processes. SDG indicators are the foundation of this new global framework for mutual accountability. FAO is the ‘custodian’ UN agency for 21 indicators, for SDGs 2, 5, 6, 12, 14 and 15 and a contributing agency for four more.

14.4.1 Proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels

14.6.1 Progress by countries in the degree of implementation of international instruments aiming to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

14.7.1 Sustainable fisheries as a percentage of GDP in small island developing States, least developed countries and all countries

14.b.1 Progress by countries in adopting and implementing a legal / regulatory / policy / institutional framework which recognizes and protects access rights for small-scale fisheries

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FAO Publications

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2016 (SOFIA)

This issue of The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture aims to provide objective, reliable and up-to-date data and information to a wide range of readers – policy- makers, managers, scientists, stakeholders and indeed all those interested [...]

Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication

The Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines) [...]

FAO working for SDG 14: Healthy oceans for food security, nutrition and resilient communities

Healthy oceans and seas are more important than ever. Oceans and seas cover more than 70 percent of our planet’s surface, provide half of the world’s oxygen, sequester carbon, and serve as home to 80 percent of life on earth [...] 

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