The Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) was unanimously adopted by FAO Member States (28th Session of the Conference of FAO) on 31 October 1995. Together with its Technical Guidelines for implementation and the other international fisheries instruments developed and adopted in its framework (IPOA-Seabirds; IPOA-Sharks; IPOA-Capacity; IPOA-IUU fishing; Strategy STF), the CCRF is now widely recognized by governments and NGOs as the global standard for setting out the aims of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture over coming decades and as a basis for reviewing and revising national fisheries legislation.

In adopting the Code, FAO member countries requested the Organization to respond to the special requirements of developing countries through an Interregional Assistance Programme for its implementation. FishCode was thus established by the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department (FI) as a special programme of Global Partnerships for Responsible Fisheries.
The overall FishCode Programme objective is to raise the economic, social and nutritional benefits obtained from the fisheries and aquaculture, especially in developing countries, through the adoption of responsible development, management and conservation practices, including improved institutional and legal arrangements.

The FishCode Trust finances activities to promote improved understanding and application of any and all aspects of the CCRF, under the framework of the FishCode Programme.
FishCode serves as a principal means through which FAO/FI seeks to team Trust Fund and Regular Programme resources activities to facilitate implementation of the Code. This partnership allows an array of FishCode component projects to draw upon FAO's multi-disciplinary technical know-how and worldwide experience in addressing issues and problem areas requiring immediate attention in order for strategic CCRF aims to be achieved.
The FishCode Management Unit, established in the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Economics Division, but serving the entire Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, links and coordinates both global and regional component projects.
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