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Inland fishing
Inland fishing

Small-scale inland fisheries

The biennial FAO State of the world fisheries and aquaculture consistently points out the constraints of poor quality statistics and information available for inland water fisheries. In many countries where there are significant freshwater resources inland fisheries are of immense importance as sources of food and livelihood within poor rural communities. But this reality is often not reflected in national statistics, which has a major bearing on policies regarding food security and projections of food demand. Development decisions are likely to favour other sectors such as agriculture or hydroelectric production when the role of inland fisheries in poverty alleviation and food security is not adequately taken into account.

The Twenty-sixth Session of COFI recognized the special importance of small-scale fisheries, and noted that inland fisheries in particular needed to be accorded greater attention. It also noted the importance of measures suggested in the recently drafted Technical Guidelines on Enhancing the Contribution of Small-Scale Fisheries to Poverty Alleviation and Food Security, including the better integration of small-scale fisheries into national development and poverty reduction strategies and their empowerment through the strengthening of fishworkers' organizations, communication and capacity-building.

Inland fisheries and the FishCode-STF Project

Due to their specific characteristics and relations with freshwater resources management, inland fisheries are treated as a separate but complementary component vis-à-vis the marine small-scale fisheries FishCode-STF Project component. The new Technical Guidelines will form the starting point for FishCode-STF Project activities related to inland small-scale fisheries, along with the recommendations provided by the Ad-hoc Expert Consultation on New Approaches for the Improvement of Inland Capture Fishery Statistics (Udon Thani, Thailand, September 2002). The inland fisheries component of the FishCode-STF Project will include the following activities.

  • Review of the current status of resources monitoring and management, including socio-economic and environmental aspects, in order to help identify information gaps and needs related to:
    • policy decisions and development agency interventions;
    • rapid appraisal methods and sustainability of collection systems; and
    • collation/dissemination of existing information.
  • International workshop on data collection requirements and the collation and dissemination of information on inland fisheries in order to raise awareness of their socio-economic importance, to develop an information network among interested parties, and to frame at least three field studies to test alternative approaches.
  • Conduct of field studies to test alternative approaches.
  • Analysis of field study results and elaboration of monitoring system guidelines.

Funds for this activity of the project are still lacking.

Inland fishing

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