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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

Life below water

Oceans, seas and coastal areas provide humankind with numerous goods and ecosystem services fundamental to human well-being, global food security and nutrition. They form an integrated and essential component of our planet’s ecosystem and are critical to sustainable development.

Fisheries and aquaculture offer ample opportunities to reduce hunger and improve nutrition, alleviate poverty, generate economic growth and ensure better use of natural resources ‑ areas relevant to multiple goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Aquaculture is the fastest-growing food sector and has the potential to produce the fish needed to meet the demand for safe and highly nutritious food by a growing population.

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

FAO initiatives focus on promoting good governance, participatory decision-making processes and promoting best practices in fisheries. Aligned with the comprehensive approach to fisheries and aquaculture captured in SDG14, FAO’s Blue Growth Initiative aims at harmonising the environmental, social and economic aspects of living aquatic resources to ensure equitable benefits for communities. It balances growth and conservation, and industrial and small-scale artisanal fisheries and aquaculture.

Blue Growth addresses environmental concerns and offers decent work opportunities to fish farmers, in particular youth, while simultaneously boosting income and nutrition security, and safeguarding natural resources.

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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

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) [...]

Towards gender-equitable small-scale fisheries governance and development

This manual aims at providing practical guidance on how to achieve gender-equitable small-scale fisheries in the context of the implementation of the SSF Guidelines. Women play a key role, [...] 

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