Director-General  QU Dongyu
A statement by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu


“Investing in social protection to secure equitable blue transformation in the fisheries sector” 

Opening Statement  


Dr QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General

21 November 2022 



Ladies and gentlemen,   

1.         Today we celebrate World Fisheries Day 2022, together with the Holy See and other partners. 

2.         This day serves as a reminder of the crucial role fisheries and aquaculture play in achieving our common goal of the 4 Betters: better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life for all, leaving no one behind.

3.         We need a sustainable, productive and equitable fisheries and aquaculture sector to end hunger - which is why we need a Blue Transformation.

4.         A transformation to expand aquaculture, especially in food deficit regions,

5.         To ensure all fisheries and aquaculture systems are effectively managed,

6.         For investments in innovative value chains,

7.         And to add value and promote aquatic foods, which are rich in proteins and contribute to healthy, nutritious diets.

Dear Colleagues,

8.         This year, we celebrate World Fisheries Day in the context of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture, under the lead of FAO.

9.         This international year honours the millions of people working in capture fisheries, and in particular the 45 million women small-scale fishers. 

10.       Small-scale fisheries produce 40% of all the fish we eat. 

11.       They are small in name, but not in value! 

12.       Yet, many small-scale fishers and fish-workers suffer from poverty and marginalization, work under substandard conditions, experience high fatality rates and suffer occupational safety and health risks.

13.       They have limited access to finance, to formal insurance, and to safety networks and social protection to help them survive and prosper.

14.       FAO’s Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication are a call to action to redress this situation.  

15.       Let us remember that social protection, through social assistance, social insurance and labour market interventions, has been the single most important government response to address the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.

16.       We know that fishers who benefit from social protection programmes invest in children’s education, and youth employment. 

17.       These investments are critical for improving living conditions, building resilience against shocks and ensuring a better future.

18.       Social protection programmes, combined with adequate fisheries management, are key for achieving fisheries sustainability by promoting the well-being of fishing communities, and minimizing illegal fishing. 

19.       For this reason, this year’s Word Fisheries Day celebration is dedicated to discuss and highlight the importance of investing in social protection to secure equitable Blue Transformation in the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

20.       Let us continue to think big and tap into the full transformative potential of social protection,

21.       By empowering fishers beyond day-to-day survival towards investments for achieving an equitable, efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable Blue Transformation.

22.       I wish you a fruitful event.

23.       Thank you.