FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Regional meeting aims to strengthen the role of fisheries and aquaculture

Fish is an important animal protein source for billions of people worldwide, providing livelihood for more than 10 percent of the global population who depend on capture fishing and aquaculture. People living in countries across Europe and Central Asia are not an exception either.

Managing, protecting, and developing fish stocks and other aquatic living resources is greatly supported by international collaboration mechanisms, such as the Central Asian and Caucasus Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Commission (CACFish) that unites key partners from the region and thus plays a central role in enhancing regional cooperation in fisheries and aquaculture while contributing to certain Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Seventh Session of the Commission takes place on 11–13 October in Istanbul, Turkey, with participation of CACFish Members and invited contracting parties to review its work done since the last session in 2018 and plan ahead.

“Regional fisheries bodies, like CACFish, are recognized as one of the key players in the development, governance, conservation, rational management, and best utilization of living aquatic resources,” said Viorel Gutu, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia. “The Commission has now entered into its second decade. During its first decade, the Commission generated scientific and technical recommendations, as well as guidelines and best management practices, as part of sustainable management and conservation practices and regional food security. The Commission also greatly contributed to institutional capacity development both at national and regional levels.” 

More specifically, participants will discuss main decisions and recommendations of the respective FAO Governing Bodies, progress status and future direction of CACFish’ second five-year regional work programme, and follow up on decisions of the Sixth Session of CACFish. The agenda includes administrative and financial as well, and a decision is expected on the Commission’s autonomous budget for 2021–2022.

“Our world has changed tremendously since the last session in 2018; yet, it became obvious how important food production and its continuity is, in addition to building resilience to COVID-19-like external shocks. In the ongoing pandemic, agriculture remained a bastion of the economies with the fisheries and aquaculture sector being a vital part of this,” said Haydar Fersoy, FAO Senior Fishery and Aquaculture  Officer and Secretary of CACFish. “The goal of this meeting is to ensure and strengthen the presence of the sector in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus and provide people a stable and sustainable food source and income.”

As Fersoy noted, the upcoming work programme for the period of 2021–2023 will be developed and agreed upon with this notion in mind as it mainly foresees to strengthen the institutional, scientific, technical, legal, and structural capacities in order to promote the development, conservation, rational management, and best utilization of living aquatic resource.

Meeting participants, representing 11 countries, and other partners looked ahead of the 2022 International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture that aims to promote the role that artisanal fisheries and aquaculture play in eradicating hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition, and poverty, and promote the sustainable use of fisheries resources, thereby contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals.

About CACFish

The Central Asian and Caucasus Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Commission is a Regional Fisheries Management Organization established under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution in 2010. The Agreement on CACFish empowers the Commission to impose binding management and conservation measures.

The objectives of CACFish are to promote the development, conservation, rational management, and best utilization of living aquatic resources, as well as the sustainable development of aquaculture in Central Asia and the Caucasus.

11 October 2021, Istanbul, Turkey