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UN agencies and regional partners convened on sustainable fisheries and a healthier marine environment

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. September 13, 2016 - Key partners of the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems Project ("the UNDP/GEF CLME+ Project") assembled from 6 to 9 September in Miami to discuss and plan coordinated action towards the sustainable management and use of living marine resources in the region.

Press release




Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries - Youtube video

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Capture fisheries support the livelihoods of over 120 million people. Small-scale fisheries produce two-thirds of all catches destined for direct human consumption and provide 90% of the employment in the sector.

Nicole Franz, Fisheries Planning Analyst and Yvette Diei Ouadi, Fishery Industry Officer of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department explain the importance of supporting small-scale fishers, fish workers and their communities to ensure food security for all. They describe the FAO policy work, including key policy messages. This video forms part of a series of policy and governance videos being produced by FAO in 2016.

More...




UNCTAD-FAO joint statement on regulating fisheries subsidies

Wed, 20 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The 14th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) met in Nairobi, Kenya 17-20 July 2016. During this Conference, FAO and UNCTAD issued a joint statement from Nairobi on the need to address harmful fisheries subsidies under SDG 14.6 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  This joint statement highlights that a positive negotiation outcome in the WTO subsidies negotiations will improve international efforts to address many of the negative impacts of fisheries subsidies. Furthermore, FAO and UNCTAD will reinforce their readiness to provide capacity building and technical assistance to contribute to member countries' efforts to achieve targets under SDG 14, specifically target 14.6.

Joint statement text





Costa Rica receives award from FAO for combatting illegal fishing

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100

FAO awarded Costa Rica for being one of the countries to sign the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Read more (in Spanish)




COFI 32 kicks off on Monday 11 July 2016 with a ceremony to celebrate the entry into force of the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA)

Fri, 8 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100

From 11 to 15 July, FAO headquarters in Rome will welcome the 32nd session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI). On top of a full programme of meetings and a jam-packed schedule of side events, during the week a ceremony will be held to celebrate the entry into force of the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA).



Latest FAO Yearbook of Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics is out

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100

(image) The FAO Yearbook of Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics is a compilation of data on capture production, fleet, fishers, aquaculture production, commodities and apparent fish consumption statistics. The complete yearbook package for each of these categories – all the key information and statistical tables – is contained on one CD–ROM. An accompanying booklet includes general notes, concepts and classifications, as well as a pull-out map of FAO major fishing areas. Notes on the major trends and issues, along with summary tables relating to each individual statistical set are also included.

Links:

Citation:

FAO. 2016. FAO yearbook. Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics. 2014/FAO annuaire. Statistiques des pêches et de l'aquaculture. 2014/FAO anuario. Estadísticas de pesca y acuicultura. 2014. Rome/Roma, Italy/Italie/Italia.




The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture - 2016

Thu, 7 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Twenty years on from the introduction of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Conduct, and now with the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Paris Agreement, and the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines, the focus on governance and policy has never been greater. This edition covers recent developments as they relate to fisheries and aquaculture, and reports, inter alia, on the Common Oceans ABNJ Program, FAO's Blue Growth Initiative and efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. It also discusses issues such as valuing inland fisheries, cutting bycatch and promoting decent work. Other topics highlighted include: nutrition; aquatic invasive alien species; responsible inland fisheries; resilience in fisheries and aquaculture; and governance of tenure and user rights.

Publication card




Global per capita fish consumption above 20 kilograms for the first time

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100

July 2016, ROME - Global per capita fish consumption has risen to above 20 kilograms a year for the first time, thanks to stronger aquaculture supply and firm demand, record hauls for some key species and reduced wastage, according to a new FAO report published today.

Full story




FAO Agreement on Port State Measures binding international law as of today

Mon, 6 Jun 2016 12:00:00 +0100

5 June 2016, Rome - A groundbreaking international accord aimed at stamping out illegal fishing went into effect today and is now legally binding for the 29 countries and a regional organization that have adhered to it.

more…




New Director of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division (FIA)

Wed, 1 Jun 2016 12:00:00 +0100

May 2016 - Manuel Barange assumed responsibilities as Director of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division (FIA). His professional record includes several high profile roles in the fisheries academic world: Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Science at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, U.K., Chair of the ICES Science Committee, leader of the international IGBP GLOBEC programme, Head of the Surveys and Fish Behaviour Division of the Sea Fisheries Research Institute in Cape Town, South Africa. In recent years Prof Barange has been very active in leading research on the development of quantitative tools to estimate the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems, their resources, and their dependent communities, globally, regionally and nationally. He has published over 120 peer-reviewed papers and has edited several books. He has become an expert in understanding the two-way relationship between environmental and societal change. Prof Barange holds an Honorary Professorship with the University of Exeter, U.K. and in 2010 was awarded the UNESCO-IOC Roger Revelle Medal for his accomplishments and contributions to ocean science. 

Mr Barange can be reached via e-mail at Manuel.Barange@fao.org and FIA-Director@fao.org




Second World Fish Migration Day

Fri, 15 Jan 2016 12:00:00 +0100

WFMD 2016 is a one day event to create worldwide awareness of the importance of freshwater migratory fish and open rivers for the general public, especially students and their teachers, resource managers and engineers, and commercial and recreational anglers, as well as those individuals who influence public policy that affect rivers.
It is a global initiative with activities organized to reach these audiences. Around the world, coordination and promotion is done through local activities inspired, supported and coordinated by a central office of the World Fish Migration Platform in Washington DC (USA). At the individual event level, organizations undertake the development of an activity to raise awareness and involve local people and media about fish migration and open rivers. Local events include a range of activities: field trips, events at a school or aquaria, the opening of fishways, races, food festivals, etc. At this local level, the logo and central message of the WFMD, Connecting fish, rivers and people, will be used to connect sites around the world. The day will start in New Zealand and will follow the sun around the world, ending in Hawaii. Find more info here .
On line registration



Ground-breaking illegal fishing accord soon to enter into force: FAO Port State Measures Agreement set to become binding law

Mon, 16 May 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing is about to become much more difficult thanks to the imminent entry into force of the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), a ground-breaking international accord championed by FAO.

Full story




Promoting gender in fisheries activities in Somalia

Fri, 13 May 2016 12:00:00 +0100

FAO's fisheries activities in Somalia are working to include women in specialized training, while simultaneously creating sustainable employment that will allow women, with their newly developed skills, to play a key role in Somalia’s strengthened fisheries sector.

Read full story




April 2016 issue of FAO Aquaculture eBulletin is out

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The April 2016 edition of the FAO Aquaculture eBulletin covers most recent news, publications, technical workshops and projects for the period January to April 2016.

Full article




US Mission to the United Nations Agencies in Rome and FAO host Fishackathon

Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The U.S. Mission to the United Nations Agencies in Rome and FAO will partner to host a Fishackathon on Earth Day weekend, 22-24 April, at FAO headquarters in Rome. This is the third annual Fishackathon, but the first time it will be hosted in Rome. Fishackathon is a public-private partnership that aims to capitalize on the expansion of mobile phone and internet use across the developing world to address sustainable fishery challenges.

Full story




Joint efforts to promote small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Seas

Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The future of small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea was the topic of discussion at a regional conference held 7-9 March 2016 in Algiers, Algeria. The Regional Conference entitled "Building a future for sustainable small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean and Black Sea" was organized by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and FAO’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. The press release is available in English and French.



Women's role in fisheries - International Women's Day

Tue, 8 Mar 2016 12:00:00 +0100

8 March marks International Women's Day around the globe. It is a day to celebrate the important role women play in their families, their communities, the workforce and society as a whole. This day is also an ideal time for those of us interested in promoting Blue Growth to reflect on the role of women in fisheries and aquaculture, and we're including below some of FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture's recent activities related to women and their role in the sector.

Full story




Regional Fishery Bodies sign Agreement to Improve Coordination for Sustainable Fisheries in the Western Central Atlantic Region

Fri, 29 Jan 2016 12:00:00 +0100

(image) Cartagena, Colombia, 27 January 2016
Three Regional Fishery Bodies (RFBs): the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM); the Organization of the Central American Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector (OSPESCA); and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations - Western Central Atlantic Fisheries Commission (FAO-WECAFC) on Wednesday 27 January signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate, support and strengthen the coordination of actions among the three RFBs to increase the sustainability of fisheries.

Read more




FAO's response to the Nature Communications article

Tue, 19 Jan 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The article "Catch reconstructions reveal that global marine fisheries catches are higher than reported and declining" by Pauly and Zeller published in Nature Communications argues that catch reconstructions, compiled from a number of separate studies, support a different conclusion about the magnitude and recent trend of marine catches than what is shown by FAO capture production database compiled since 1950.

Read more



2015 Common Ocean milestones for the Western and Central Pacific

Mon, 18 Jan 2016 12:00:00 +0100

December 2015 | Bali. The Common Oceans/ABNJ Tuna Project summarized its 2015 activities in 2015 and highlighted progress with the southern hemisphere sharks and by-catch measures assessments.

Full story





FAO is pleased to announce the publication of Issue Brief #15 on Combating IUU fishing in the Caribbean through policy and legislation

Mon, 18 Jan 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) is one of the biggest threats to marine biodiversity and sustainable fishing. Every year between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish is caught through IUU fishing. This costs the industry between $10 and $23 billion annually and threatens food security in many parts of the world. Estimates indicate that IUU fishing accounts for up to 30% of the total global catch. IUU fishing is also considered a major threat to fisheries resources in the Caribbean region, undermining regional efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks. IUU fishing also prevents governments of the CARICOM countries from achieving their nationally and regionally agreed-upon fisheries management goals and objectives.

IUU fishing leads to the loss of both short and long-term social and economic opportunities and to negative effects on food security and environmental protection. If IUU fishing is not dealt with, it can lead to the collapse of a fishery or seriously impair efforts to rebuild stocks that have already been depleted. The fight against IUU fishing must be prioritized in order to ensure food security, guarantee income and livelihoods for legitimate fishers, as well as continued export earnings from fisheries.

The issue brief (available here) provides an overview of international and regional policies and agreements that are essential in the fight against IUU fishing in the Caribbean region.




Electronic Monitoring System (EMS) pilot activities onboard tuna vessels in Fiji and Ghana

Mon, 18 Jan 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Common Oceans/ABNJ Tuna Project started two pilot activities to test the insertion of EMS data in the national processes to verify and enhance compliance with current regulations. The systems are deployed on board longline vessels in Fiji and purse seine vessels in Ghana.

Full story




December 2015 issue of FAO Aquaculture e­Bulletin is out

Wed, 23 Dec 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The December 2015 edition of the FAO Aquaculture e­bulletin covers most recent news, publications, technical workshops and projects for the period October 2015 to December 2015. 

Full article




Saint Kitts and Nevis National plan of action to prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing

Wed, 16 Dec 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Saint Kitts and Nevis National plan of action was developed through a participatory process with all key stakeholder with support from FAO's technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) project TCP/STK/3502.

Download document




Video: Climate-Smart Agriculture in Action: Africa, Asia and Latin America

Mon, 30 Nov 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The UNFCCC's Twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) kicks off today in Paris, France. This Climate Smart video will be shown at the event, and includes a positive example of collaboration with work done on Nicaraguan fishers' adoption of an ecosystem approach to fisheries and aquaculture to better preserve ecosystem services while improving harvest. These policies were aimed at reducing the climate vulnerability of coastal fishing communities.




BlueBRIDGE project, building innovative data services for fisheries, aquaculture, ecosystem management, and food system analysis

Sat, 28 Nov 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Rome 27 October 2015. By some standards, the world’s Oceans are the seventh largest economy. However, it is an economy at risk, and sometimes poorly managed fisheries, climate change and pollution, amongst others, damage its carrying capacity. To address these issues, a challenge is to support decision making with facts and evidence built across multiple scientific disciplines. The BlueBRIDGE project uses European Horizon 2020 funds to support fisheries, aquaculture, and ecosystem management with tools such as maps, statistics, and analytical models. BlueBRIDGE - Building Research environments fostering Innovation, Decision making, Governance and Education in fisheries and marine sciences – provides web-based resources with a focus on sustainable growth and development. These resources will facilitate science-based policy formulation and evidence-based decision-making, and include: Online analytical tools and models to support scientific collaboration among working groups and institutions, including stock assessment methods and sustainable management strategies of data poor, small scale fisheries. A global register for stocks and fisheries, disseminating comprehensive information on the location, status and trends of fish stocks and fisheries; Support to aquaculture sites inventories and spatial planning using a combination of satellite data analysis and field collected information; Online analytical tools and models to support scientific collaboration among working groups and institutions include stock assessment methods and sustainable management strategies for data poor and small scale fisheries. "These are just a few of the challenges BlueBRIDGE will address", says Marc Taconet from the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the UN FAO and Chair of the BlueBRIDGE External Advisory Board, "The development of smart solutions is important to support decision-makers in the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries and Aquaculture by providing the knowledge production chain from data collection through aggregation and analysis to the generation of indicators. These solutions will bridge the work of international organizations and communities of scientists from different disciplines including fisheries, biology, economics, statistics, and environmental science." "A knowledge production chain involves multidisciplinary scientific communities", says Donatella Castelli from the National Research Council in Italy and BlueBRIDGE project director, "BlueBRIDGE will transform how they co-operate by enabling collaboration and data alignment. Users from different sectors will benefit from data sharing and publication facilities as well as from powerful processing capabilities. As a result, users will have better access to knowledge at lower costs." BlueBRIDGE will provide on-line training for the next generation of scientists. This is fundamental to build capacity in often resource-poor environments where these materials are difficult to find. BlueBRIDGE will also collaborate with 7 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) the establishment of a self-sustaining user community exploiting the data services. BlueBRIDGE services have foundations in the iMarine initiative (www.i-marine.eu) and exploit the D4Science infrastructure (www.d4science.org) to capitalize on previous investments made by the European Commission and as a first step towards future sustainability . Wit[...]



EAF-Nansen Project - October 2015, special issue of e-APPROACH

Wed, 11 Nov 2015 12:00:00 +0100

In this special issue of the e-Approach we take a look at the R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen demonstration survey across the southern Indian Ocean from June to August 2015 to test some sampling and observational equipment on board the research vessel as well as the preparedness of the EAF-Nansen Project to contribute to the upcoming Second International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2).

Download PDF file




FAO Blue Growth blog is now online!

Thu, 5 Nov 2015 12:00:00 +0100

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department blog on Blue Growth is now available online.



Easy off-line access to FAO aquaculture publications

Thu, 29 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0100

All FAO aquaculture publications produced 1999-2015 are now available on a USB pen drive (credit card style, Version 03). This compilation makes sixteen years of publications readily available to and searchable by all users, especially those with limited access to the internet.  Users can easily search publications (also available as PDF files in other FAO official languages) through the publication list or through a free text-based search engine that performs search on titles, abstracts, authors, keywords and year of publication. Hard copies may be requested by contacting Valerio Crespi at valerio.crespi@fao.org




R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen is ready to go! Join us!

Wed, 21 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The research Vessel Dr. Fridtjof Nansen is about to start a new exciting survey in the waters off Northwest Africa.

The survey will start from Dakar, Senegal on 21 October for an eight-week voyage off the coast of Senegal, The Gambia, Mauritania and Morocco before landing in Las Palmas, Spain. The trip will take place in four legs and will study pelagic resources.

To know more about the survey and receive up-to-date information on the cruise, please join the EAF-Nansen project blog.

Visit the blog




International community agrees on future agenda in the framework of Code and FAO's Blue Growth Initiative - Sub-Committee on Aquaculture concludes in Brazil

Mon, 12 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0100

09 October 2015, Brasilia –“It has been an honour for me personally and for Brazil as a country to hold this major global event with the important mission to harmonize actions towards a more sustainable and responsible world aquaculture” summarized Brazilian Chairperson Rodrigo Roubach. The adoption of the report with major recommendations for global aquaculture development marked the closing of the 8th Session of the FAO’s Committee on Fisheries (COFI) Sub-Committee on Aquaculture which was held in the capital of Brazil from 05 to 09 October 2015, attended by 100 delegates from around 50 countries of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe which represent the vast majority of aquaculture producers worldwide. “The Sub-Committee unanimously agreed on priorities for its future agenda, in line with FAO’s Strategic Objectives and the FAO Blue Growth Initiative. Fittingly, this is happening at a time when we celebrate 20 years of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries which provides a common framework” stated Matthias Halwart, Secretary of the Sub-Committee. The meeting debated a range of important aspects pertinent to the development of the aquaculture sector. The Sub-Committee supported the efforts of FAO in developing the Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification and the Evaluation Framework to assess the conformity of aquaculture certification schemes with the guidelines. On FAO’s Blue Growth Initiative, it highlighted inter alia the positive effects from aquaculture on the environment such as through shellfish and seaweed farming and requested to increase the number of participating countries in the piloting phase. The Sub-Committee emphasized resource use efficiency in aquaculture for food and nutrition security as a key focus area, recognizing that research and education needs may vary from region to region. It suggested that issues on decent employment could be dealt with by the FAO aquaculture certification guidelines. Strong support was expressed to improve aquaculture data, information and statistics compiled by FAO, including the need to integrate the data collected from the first State of the World Report on Aquatic Genetic Resources into FAO’s fisheries and aquaculture information systems. Regarding aquaculture’s contribution to food and nutrition security, poverty alleviation and national economies, the Sub-Committee recommended that FAO continue its work in this area and provide information on good farming practices, how to assess aquaculture’s contribution to food and nutritional security, and its impact on policy development. In closing, the FAO Representative of Brazil, Mr. Alan Bojanic, stressed the relevance of the recommendations at global as well as at local level: “Brazil is rich and diverse when it comes to aquatic resources and the national development of the aquaculture sector will benefit from the important conclusions of this Sub-Committee”. Mr Hossein Ali Abdolhay, elected Chairperson of the forthcoming 9th Session of the Sub-Committee, welcomed delegates and observers to the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2017. [...]



The 8th Session of the COFI Sub-Committee on Aquaculture Kicks-off in Brasilia, Brazil

Thu, 8 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0100

05 October 2015, Brasilia — “The Sub-Committee on aquaculture is a unique global forum where aquaculture related matters are debated and strategic plans developed at the highest level by Member countries’ aquaculture authorities from all over the world”, recalled Mr. Jiansan Jia, Deputy Director of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources Management and Conservation Division, when delivering, on behalf of the Department and of the FAO Director-General, Dr. Graziano da Silva, his opening remarks at the 8th Session of the FAO COFI Sub-Committee on Aquaculture, an event that drew together close to 100 delegates from around 50 countries of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe, for five days from 05 to 09 October 2015. The Government of Brazil is proud of hosting the event. “It is a great honor for Brazil to host and serve as platform for the most relevant discussions and deliberations of the sector”, stated His Excellency Mr. Helder Barbalho, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture who officially opened the Session on behalf of the Government of Brazil. The role of aquaculture in feeding humanity and ensuring its well-being is unquestionable and still growing. Sharing some of the recent highlights of the sector, Mr. Jia indicated that world aquaculture production has continued to grow, reaching 97 million tonnes with an estimated value of USD157 billion in 2013, producing more than 43 percent of the fish we consume today and generating millions of jobs worldwide, thereby contributing to lifting millions out of poverty while helping them put nutritious food on their tables. At a time where FAO and various partners celebrate the 20th birthday of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries this week in Vigo, Spain, FAO believes that ensuring food security for our growing world population is more important than ever before. The Code provides a solid basis for helping Member countries achieve this goal, pursued Mr. Jia. The meeting agenda is rich and expectations are high — In addition to two Side Events on “FAO work with partners towards sustainable use, conservation and management of Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture” and on “Biosecurity and Public-Private Sector Partnership; a shared responsibility”, respectively, and one Special Event on “Contribution of aquaculture to food and nutrition security, poverty alleviation and national economies: evidence-based experiences”, the meeting will discuss a range of important aspects pertinent to the development of the aquaculture sector, including the implementation of technical guidelines on aquaculture certification and the evaluation framework to assess the conformity of aquaculture certification schemes with the guidelines; aquaculture as part of the Blue Growth Initiative; aquaculture research and education; and the improvement of livelihoods through decent employment. In a press conference following the kick-off of the event, Minister Barbalho revealed his expectations from the meeting as: “the outcome of this Sub-Committee meeting will serve as a guide for decision making and agreement for the development of the aquaculture nationally, regionally and worldwide”.[...]



Announcing the publication of FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper 589 - Small-scale aquaponic food production

Thu, 8 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Aquaponics is a symbiotic integration of two mature disciplines: aquaculture and hydroponics. This technical paper discusses the three groups of living organisms (bacteria, plants and fish) that make up the aquaponic ecosystem. It presents management strategies and troubleshooting practices, and specifically highlights the advantages and disadvantages of this method of food production. This publication discusses the main theoretical concepts, including: the nitrogen cycle, the role of bacteria, balancing an aquaponic unit. It considers water quality; unit design; plant and fish production; and a comprehensive guide to a small-scale aquaponic unit.

Aquaponics is an integrated approach to Efficient Resource Use. In addition to this manual, Indonesia, with support from FAO and the South-South Cooperation team, will conduct a regional aquaponic technical training workshop in Indonesia at the end of 2015. Separately, FAO will convene an aquaponic training workshop for countries in the Near East and North Africa region, supported by the translation of this document into Arabic. Limited English hard-copies are available upon request, and but the manual can always be downloaded from the following web link: - http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4021e/index.html




FAO at your local fish market: new posters help consumers trace their catch

Fri, 2 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Area 37 is one of 19 Major Fishing Areas displayed on a new set of posters that FAO is making available to retailers around the world who are keen to respond to increasing consumer demand for better information, as well as evolving labeling standards set by governments.

This includes the European Union, which has recently adopted new labeling standards that make it mandatory for all fishmongers to provide information on the fishing method used and the Major Fishing Areas their seafood was caught.




Political will and partnerships essential to stop ocean degradation

Fri, 2 Oct 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Oceans are an essential component of the Earth's ecosystem – a source of biodiversity, food, and life – FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva said during a high-level event on the importance of healthy oceans for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). As island nations, the economies, livelihoods and existence of SIDS are closely linked to the health and wellbeing of the oceans, the Director-General said - indeed, their development depends on it.



Brief overviews on 2013 capture and aquaculture production statistics trends have been published

Tue, 22 Sep 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The FAO Fisheries Statistics databases on capture and aquaculture production cover the years 1950-2013. Users can consult these data, together with other global and regional fisheries datasets, through FishStatJ stand-alone software and/or the a online query panel. Brief overviews on capture and aquaculture trends are also available.



Training on Fisheries and Aquaculture Emergency Response Guidance held in the Philippines

Thu, 3 Sep 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Participants in this training seminar are all involved in post-Haiyan rehabilitation programmes in the Calamianes Region, where coastal fishing communities were severely devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.

Full story




FAO-backed research ship investigates the occurrence of trash in the southern Indian Ocean

Thu, 13 Aug 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The Dr Fridtjof Nansen is plying the waves of the southern Indian Ocean, trawling for trash. Every time the ship's scientific crew threw down special nets, they hauled in pieces of plastics, underscoring the risk of dramatic upheavals in marine ecosystems even in one of the world's least-known and least-visited environments.

An estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic currently float in the world's oceans, up from none in 1950 and posing a question about their potential impact on a food supply chain that stretches from plankton - which have been filmed eating plastic pellets - up through shellfish, salmon, tuna and eventually humans, not to mention whales.




Momentum gathers for international agreement to combat rogue fishing

Tue, 4 Aug 2015 12:00:00 +0100

A growing number of countries are ratifying an international agreement to combat illegal fishing, fueling interest in how best to implement the instrument. Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is estimated to strip between $10 billion and $23 billion from the global economy, and their impacts undermine the way fish stocks are managed to make it a double concern around the world.

To help tackle the problem, FAO brokered the adoption in 2009 by its Member countries of the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.

The agreement comes into force when 25 countries have deposited their instrument of ratification, known as acceptance of accession; so far, 12 countries have done so, the latest being Iceland in June. Two more states will soon join them.




Developing sustainable fisheries and healthy oceans in Kenya for food and nutrition security

Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The Government of Kenya and FAO have launched the Blue Growth Initiative to benefit select areas in the coastal region of Kenya. The Blue Growth Initiative is a FAO flagship initiative promoting more productive, sustainable and socioeconomically responsible fisheries, and aquaculture sectors.

Full story




FAO emphasizes importance of Shark Conservation & Management during Fisherman’s Week in Barbados and the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week

Fri, 10 Jul 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Sharks play an important role in maintaining the balance of marine ecosystems. Aside from contributing to the ecological sustainability of marine life, the shark species also contributes to social and economic sustainability. However, due to their life-history characteristics, many species are vulnerable to the pressures of overfishing and have experienced rapid population decline.



Turkey hosts workshop promoting sustainable aquaculture development

Tue, 7 Jul 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Aquaculture zoning, site selection and the design of aquaculture management areas are part of an overall “ecosystem approach” to aquaculture, being promoted through an international experts’ discussion held in Izmir, Turkey this week. Organized by FAO and the World Bank and hosted by Dokuz Eylul University, Institute of Marine Sciences and Technology, the workshop runs 5-8 July 2015.



International experts to discuss in Spain on the value chain of fisheries and aquaculture

Thu, 2 Jul 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Between 6 and 10 July Galician School of Public Administration (EGAP) of Santiago de Compostela will host the third edition of the International Seminar on Lessons Advanced Economy Fisheries and Aquaculture. This seminar is organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Rural Environment Ministry and do Mar of the Xunta de Galicia and is sponsored by the Alfonso Martin Escudero (FUNDAME) Foundation. It has five days in which several international experts will discuss the value chain of fisheries and aquaculture.

Seminar site

Press release




Anchors away for the Nansen voyage across the Indian Ocean

Fri, 26 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Join us for an exciting demonstration survey on the R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the International Indian Ocean Expedition. This survey trip runs 28 June - 10 August 2015, and will take place in two voyages. The first journey begins on 26 June 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia, travelling across the southern Indian Ocean until the Nansen docks in Port Louis, Mauritius on 16 July. The second leg of the journey will depart from Mauritius, to carry out research around the waters of Madagascar and the southern plateau of the Mascarene before continuing on to Cape Town, South Africa. Our 16 marine researchers from 12 countries will be blogging about their work from on board.

Read more




Workshop promotes capacity for fish trade and market access

Wed, 17 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

FAO, in cooperation with EUROFISH and the Armenian Ministry of Agriculture, organized a three-day workshop for Central and Eastern European countries interested in international and intraregional trade in fish and fishery products, livelihoods and food security.

Full story
Full story in Russian




Brazilian Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Barbalho and FAO Assistant Director-General Mathiesen meet in Rome

Fri, 12 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Brazilian Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Helder Zahluth Barbalho visited FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, and met with Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. The meeting included discussion about the upcoming Eighth Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries Sub-Committee on Aquaculture, to be held 5-9 October 2015 in Brasilia, Brazil.

Full story

Flickr photos of signing

Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication
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Spanish




FAO VME (Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems) DataBase updated and enriched!

Tue, 9 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The VME DataBase is currently up-to-date. Information on VMEs can be viewed by year (2006-2015) or by region (or regional body). The VME DataBase is a mapping interface supported by factsheets that are entered through pop-ups. This is a superb source of information on VMEs and shows the tremendous efforts that have been made over the past 10 years to make fisheries more sustainable by safeguarding critical benthic habitats and thus maintaining healthy ecosystems.





Mediterranean and Black Sea States to strengthen their cooperation and take historic measures for the future of fisheries in the region

Thu, 4 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

GFCM/FAO, on the occasion of its thirty-ninth annual session, hosted representatives of 25 countries of the Mediterranean basin and the Black Sea, Japan, the European Union as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to strengthen their cooperation and agree upon important measures for the management and conservation of fisheries resources in both the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

GFCM press release




FAO staff member awarded Asian Fisheries Society Gold Medal

Tue, 2 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Congratulations to Matthias Halwart, Senior Aquaculture Officer, on having been presented with the Gold Medal Award of the Asian Fisheries Society for his work in non-formal education activities for fisheries and aquaculture in the Asia-Pacific region. Non-formal education and South-South cooperation is extremely important for the development of aquaculture in the region. Full story

FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific - Photo stories




Scaling up aquaculture development through triangular cooperation between Namibia, Spain, Viet Nam and FAO

Mon, 1 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Aquaculture production remains low in sub-Saharan Africa, with per capita consumption of only 9.1 kg/year. But there is great potential to expand the sector on the African continent, particularly through the use of south-south cooperation programmes. One innovative programme currently in place is helping to improve aquaculture production in the Republic of Namibia through triangular cooperation between Namibia, Spain, Viet Nam and FAO.

Read document




SmartFish press release - Rice-fish culture: development lever for family farming in Madagascar

Thu, 21 May 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The SmartFish programme of the Indian Ocean Commission, through its Food security component implemented by FAO, supports the awareness program on rice-fish farming Fish NGO APDRA.

Press release




FAO press release: Angling for gender equality in the seafood industry. New FAO report traces fisheries' glass ceiling

Wed, 20 May 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Despite the fact that  women are estimated to make up nearly half of all people in the fisheries sector, their work often goes unrecognized and unpaid. And the problems aren’t limited to developing countries. Women are conspicuously absent in management positions within the seafood industry. Out of the world’s top 100 seafood companies, only one is run by a female CEO.

Press release




Abridged version of SOFIA 2014 now available in Japanese

Wed, 20 May 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The abridged version of the State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) 2014 is now available in Japanese. The full publication is already available online in all official UN languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish, and Russian.

Japanese summary of SOFIA 2014




Nansis version 1.9 is now available

Sun, 17 May 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Nansis, the Survey Information System for logging, editing and analysis of biological and environmental data from marine fisheries research surveys, has undergone a series of improvements since 2006 when the first version for Window was released. The software and the database which constitute the system are principally used to store and retrieve data for scientific or decision making purposes. Throughout the years, several updates were made to optimize software stability and performances, based on suggestions provided by the user group of fisheries scientists. From 27 to 31 October 2014, an early version 1.9 of Nansis was introduced and tested by a number of participants attending the Training of Trainers course on Nansis held at Casablanca, Morocco. The course, organized by the EAF-Nansen project, was to train scientist in the use of Nansis and in the meantime to test it. During the course, participants highlighted strengths and weaknesses of the software providing suggestions on suitable improvements. Based on feedback received a new series of enhancements was planned and an updated version is now available as public release. Nansis version 1.9 is meant to be a user-friendly tool with enhanced features. Indeed a wizard process easily lead users through a series of well-defined and simplified steps to successfully finalize the installation. The version 1.9 of the software was officially released on 17 May 2015, on the occasion of the Norwegian national day, both on the EAF-Nansen project Nansis page and the Institute of Marine Research Website. On the webpages technical details on the software and download are also available. We always strive to improve the quality and accuracy of Nansis. For this reason we warmly invite you to test version 1.9 of Nansis and provide us with your comments and suggestions at nansis@imr.no. The Nansis software is shipped only with a dummy dataset to be installed. The software is compatible with the database already installed with many users and the datasets received from the surveys with Dr. Fridtjof Nansen, please refer to the help menu on how to import your data. To receive data from the Nansen program to use with the database please contact Inês Bernardes at CDCF using the data download form available from the web.[...]




An international day to raise awareness on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

Thu, 14 May 2015 12:00:00 +0100

GFCM/FAO organized two working-group meetings in Marrakech, Morocco, on 20-24 April 2015, during which international experts discussed measures to deter IUU fishing, including the use of vessel monitoring systems (VMS).

GFCM press release




FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture welcomes the start of Expo-2015

Thu, 7 May 2015 12:00:00 +0100

1 May 2015 opened the Universal Exhibition, Expo-2015, in Milan, kicking off a six-month global event dedicated to "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life". The theme for the event is one at the core FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture mandate: how to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food to everyone, while respecting the natural resources of our planet. For this reason, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture is pleased to be collaborating with Expo-2015 and UN Expo-2015 at various events through October. We invite you to follow our upcoming events for May, either through news on our web site, through our live tweeting of events on our Twitter account @FAOfish, or by coming to see us in Venice and Milan. ONU EXPO 2015 MAP (pdf) FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture at Expo-2015 in May: Friday, 8 May FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture will participate at an interesting side event of the Milan Expo entitled AQUAE VENEZIA 2015, this side event to Expo-2015 is taking place in Venice and is dedicated exclusively to the theme of water. On 8 May, FAO Fisheries will participate in Pianeta Aqua - Green Drop. Stop by in the afternoon when Aquaculture officer Alessandro Lovatelli will speak at a round table on "Feeding the World: the Role of Oceans and Water Resources" or follow us on Twitter @FAOfish as we live tweet the event from Venice. Other participants in the roundtable will discuss renewable marine resources, sharks in the Adriatic Sea, and aquaculture, in what is certain to be an interesting discussion. Friday, 22 May FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture will participate in a European Commission - Maritime Affairs and Fisheries-sponsored event entitled Aquaculture in Europe: A model for the future. Bringing together key actors such as producers, researchers, NGOs,  consumers, and popular chefs the event will look at how European aquaculture can help meet the ever growing demand for fish. It will showcase good practices from across Europe and then open up a discussion among the participants broken in small groups (World café) sitting in circle shape on the different challenges: environmental, economic and social as well as future prospects. The event will include also a ceremony to announce the 3 winners among the 20 European schools that have participated in the pilot project of the "FARMED IN THE EU" campaign, in which students (12-18 old) have met local fish farmers and produced material to explain the sector in their regions. The aim of this project was to show the human face of a sector that is still unknown to many citizens: the 3 produce[...]



ASFA has surpassed the 2 million mark!

Fri, 10 Apr 2015 12:00:00 +0100

FAO, 8 April 2015 - More than 2 million is at present the number of records in the Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), the International Cooperative Information System covering the world's literature on the science, technology, management, and conservation of marine, brackish water, and freshwater resources and environments, including their socio-economic and legal aspects.




FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture glossaries have become part of the FAO Term Portal

Fri, 10 Apr 2015 12:00:00 +0100

FAO, 8 April 2015 - Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and the Meeting Programming and Documentation Service have made available, through the FAO Term Portal, the specialized and rich glossaries on fisheries and aquaculture which were originally available on different systems. The FAO Fisheries Glossary consists of more than 1500 terms and definitions, grouped by subject areas, with relevant language equivalents. The Glossary for Aquaculture is multidisciplinary and multilingual, containing more than 2600 terms, definitions, related terms, synonyms and images used in the sector.



Tenure & Fishing Rights 2015: Fisheries, forever

Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:00:00 +0100

FAO is currently co-organizing the global forum 'Tenure & Fishing Rights 2015: a forum on rights-based approaches for fisheries (UserRights2015)’ with the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia, on 23-27 March 2015 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. UserRights 2015 is designed to gather people from across the fisheries sector to discuss the fundamental issues within the sphere of tenure and rights-based approaches in fisheries. Providing a platform for all voices to be heard, UserRights 2015 connects fishers, fishing communities, academics and representatives of NGOs, industry, governments and international organizations from all over the world.



Countries in Asia and the Pacific move forward with ecologically sustainable intensification of aquaculture to help feed a rapidly growing, fish-consuming world

Thu, 19 Mar 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Six countries in Asia (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam) are taking the lead in collaboration with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization to deliver "blue growth" – a regional initiative which aims to promote the intensification of aquaculture production in an ecological and sustainable way.




A decisive step towards enhanced regional cooperation for the management of Black Sea fisheries

Thu, 19 Mar 2015 12:00:00 +0100

(image) The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (GFCM/FAO) concluded the fourth annual meeting of its Working Group on the Black Sea. The meeting was hosted by Georgia, one of the three Black Sea riparian States not yet Members of the GFCM – the other two being the Russian Federation and the Ukraine.

Press release




Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries are now available

Fri, 6 Mar 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Women play a key role in the small-scale fisheries. Over 90% of all capture fisheries workers operate in small-scale fisheries in developing countries and about half of those workers are women. On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2015, FAO launched the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the context of food security and poverty eradication in six languages. The adoption of the Guidelines this past year at the Committee on Fisheries was a great success – resulting in the first negotiated international instrument dedicated specifically to this vulnerable sector. The participatory development process of these guidelines confirmed that although gender issues should be mainstreamed across all sections of the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines, they also warranted their own stand-alone section. This is the first time that an international fisheries instrument specifically considers issues related to gender. The Guidelines, which complement the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, illustrate the natural progression to integrate social, economic, cultural and environmental issues in  practices and principles in order to achieve sustainable small-scale fisheries. On this important day, we also wish to remember Ms. Chandrika Sharma, a tireless campaigner for the rights of small-scale fishers and a unifying figure for international civil society organizations.  When endorsing the Guidelines in June 2014, the members and observers of FAO’s Committee on Fisheries decided to dedicate the Guidelines to this remarkable woman. Coincidently, International Women’s Day marks the one year anniversary of the disappearance on 8 March 2014 of Malaysian Air flight 370, the plane on which Chandrika was travelling. We take a moment to remember Chandrika as we launch these Guidelines she helped to shape. Her strong dedication to the cause of small-scale fisheries, in particular her emphasis on protecting the vulnerable and marginalized, will remain forever  reflected in the strength of the wording on gender and other social issues in the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries.[...]



FAO meets the global seafood industry at 10th NASF, 3-5 March 2015

Mon, 2 Mar 2015 12:00:00 +0100

As part of its efforts to interact closely with the global fisheries and seafood industry, FAO will participate in the up-coming North Atlantic Seafood Forum Conference (NASF) in Bergen, Norway, 3-5 March. Headed by Arni Mathiesen - Assistant Director General for Fisheries and Aquaculture, FAO will be present with several high-level representatives. Mr. Mathiesen will deliver an NASF opening address March 4th addressing “Outlook for world seafood trade to 2030”.

For more information, please contact Jose Estors-Carballo, for communication issues, please contact Kimberly Sullivan




Future prospects for fisheries and aquaculture and their contribution to preserving food security

Wed, 25 Feb 2015 12:00:00 +0100

On 24 February 2015 FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department Assistant Director-General, Árni M. Mathiesen, participated in the IV Conference of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Lima, Peru with a video presentation on the global fisheries and aquaculture outlook, and its vital contribution to food security.

width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1HLwECIX144" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>



New fish drying technology boosts livelihoods in Ivorian towns

Wed, 25 Feb 2015 12:00:00 +0100

A new and easy-to-assemble fish drying technology pioneered by FAO is helping to reduce health hazards, improve food safety and quality, improve working conditions and cut down food losses in West African fishing villages.

According to FAO, smoked fish is a vital source of food and income for many African coastal communities. In Côte d'Ivoire, for example, an estimated 20-30 percent of local marine and freshwater catch is consumed in smoked form.




FAO Media web story on "Management of Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction"

Wed, 18 Feb 2015 12:00:00 +0100

FAO's media office is featuring a web story on Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (Common Oceans) and the Workshop on Linking Global and Regional Levels in the Management of Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction being held on 17-20 February 2015, Rome, Italy. The event is open to any media wishing to attend.

Webcast of the workshop




Spotlights on: "Workshop on Linking Global and Regional Levels in the Management of Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction"

Tue, 17 Feb 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Today, representatives from all sectors with expertise, knowledge and experience in ABNJ issues are gathering for a four-days’ global workshop, organized by GOF, FAO and project partners of the ABNJ Capacity project.

Workshop agenda



Some spots left in Training of Trainers in fisheries and aquaculture emergency response. Applications by February 27, 2015

Fri, 20 Feb 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Response to an emergency situation in fisheries and aquaculture presents a range of complex issues that can be difficult to understand in the absence of appropriate training analytical tools and lessons from experience. The Fisheries and aquaculture emergency response guidance was developed at the request of FAO partners in a series of consultation meetings that were held between 2009 and 2012 in relation to small scale fisheries. The guidance draws on best practice and lessons learned during response to disasters that have affected fisheries and aquaculture sector. The guidance was published in 2014 and a first Training of Trainers (TOT) course will be rolled in March 23-28 2015. Applications are welcomed from English speakers worldwide. Selection criteria are included in the attached document. Deadline for applications is February 27th, 2015.

For applications, contact (image)




New FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper: A global review of status and mitigation measures for bycatch in longline fisheries for tuna and tuna-like species

Fri, 13 Feb 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Dr. Shelley Clarke, Technical Coordinator-Sharks and Bycatch of the ABNJ Tuna Project under the FAO-led Common Oceans Program, co-authored a global review of status and mitigation measures for bycatch in longline fisheries for tuna and tuna-like species. Under the ABNJ Tuna Project, and with additional funding from ISSF, WCPFC and SPC are working to update and enhance the Bycatch Management Information System (BMIS) which was used as a bibliographic reference by this report.



First meeting of the Global Record Informal Open-Ended Technical and Advisory Working Group

Thu, 19 Feb 2015 12:00:00 +0100

COFI at its 31st Session reiterated its support for the continued development of the Global Record by FAO and some Members recognized the need for an advisory committee to clarify outstanding issues and to find a solution for the long-term financing. The COFI Bureau welcomed the proposal by the Secretariat that a Global Record Informal Open-Ended Technical and Advisory Working Group be established to take up the role of this advisory committee. The first meeting of the Working Group will be held at FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy, from 23 to 27 February 2015.

For more information about this meeting, please go to the webpage of the meeting.




Inter American Development Bank grants FAO $75 000 for shrimp and groundfish management on the Guianas-Brazil Shelf

Thu, 5 Feb 2015 12:00:00 +0100

The shrimp and groundfish fisheries of the Guianas-Brazil shelf provide employment to at least 150 000 fishers and many more in auxiliary jobs (processing, marketing/trade, vessel and gear repair and maintenance, etc.). The number of households that are economically dependent on the income derived from working in the shrimp and groundfish fisheries sub-sector is estimated to be over 1 million. Shrimp fisheries contribute significantly to hunger eradication and the achievement of food security. In coastal communities fish and fishery products consumption is generally higher than 40 kg/capita/year. However, a number of shrimp and groundfish stocks in the region are fully exploited and at the risk of being overexploited. Fisheries technologies currently applied include unsustainable practices that are detrimental for aquatic habitats and put the lives of fishers at risk. The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recognize that an investment is needed in ecosystem-based shrimp and groundfish fisheries management in the Guianas-Brazil Shelf. Brazil, French Guyana, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, the countries sharing these transboundary shrimp and groundfish resources, will be collaborating in this pilot project. The project aims, over a one year period, to assess the value and management potential of shrimp and groundfish stocks and fisheries of the Guianas-Brazil Shelf, in order to enable sustainable investments in ecosystem-based management of these marine resources. Main objectives of the project are to:Improve understanding of economic value of the shrimp and groundfish stocks and the economic impact of the related fisheries sector of the Guianas-Brazil shelf. Initiate an ecosystem-based shrimp and groundfish fisheries management of the Guianas-Brazil Shelf planning process.Develop an investment proposal for the IADB to promote and leverage public and private financing of investments in ecosystem based management of these resources. The project will be using the WECAFC/CRFM/IFREMER Working Group on Shrimp and Groundfish, as main vehicle to bring t[...]



Training of Trainers in fisheries and aquaculture emergency response, applications by February 15, 2015

Wed, 4 Feb 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Response to an emergency situation in fisheries and aquaculture presents a range of complex issues that can be difficult to understand in the absence of appropriate training analytical tools and lessons from experience. The fisheries and aquaculture emergency response guidance was developed at the request of FAO partners in a series of consultation meetings that were held between 2009 and 2012, in relation to small-scale fisheries. The guidance draws on best practice and lessons learned during response to disasters that have affected fisheries and aquaculture sector. The guidance was published in 2014 and a first Training of Trainers (TOT) course will be rolled in March 24-29, 2015. Applications are welcomed from English speakers worldwide. Selection criteria are included in the attached document. Deadline for applications is February 15th, 2015.

For applications, contact (image)




iSharkFin: an innovative software for the identification of shark species from the fins

Thu, 29 Jan 2015 12:00:00 +0100

iSharkFin is an expert system that uses machine learning techniques to identify shark species from shark fin shapes. The software has been developed by FAO in collaboration with the University of Vigo with financial support of the Government of Japan and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

iSharkFin takes an interactive process. Users simply need to take a standard photo, select some characteristics of a fin and choose a few points on the fin shape, iSharkFin will automatically analyze the information and identify the shark specie from which the fin comes.

iSharkFin is now available for the identification of 35 shark species from dorsal fins and 7 species from pectoral fins, commonly seen in international trade, including some species listed in the CITES Appendices.

To download the software visit the iSharkFin webpage.



A Deep Seas research voyage blog: Aboard the EAF-Nansen

Tue, 20 Jan 2015 12:00:00 +0100

January 2015 - Marine research vessel R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen (EAF-Nansen project) embarked on a month-long cruise departing from Cape Town, South Africa, to conduct scientific research in the deep seas of the Southeast Atlantic Fisheries Organization (SEAFO) convention area before arriving at Walvis Bay, Namibia. (image)

Marine biologist Edoardo Mostarda will be blogging along the journey and providing an inside glimpse of life on a research vessel as it carries out important scientific research in the Southeast Atlantic area. The research voyage can be followed on "Aboard the EAF-Nansen" and at #EAFNansen.




Port State measures and national legislation – a guide for implementation

Mon, 29 Dec 2014 12:00:00 +0100

Port State measures are the front line of attack against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, whether it occurs under national jurisdiction or in the high seas. Implementation of these measures by port States, using minimum standards agreed at global and regional levels, is of vital importance for the sustainability of the tuna resource – which occurs in all waters.



Vulnerable marine ecosystems in areas beyond national jurisdiction - VME DataBase launch

Tue, 9 Jun 2015 12:00:00 +0100

Today sees the launch of a new website for vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs). It is the fruit of collaboration between FAO, regional fisheries management organizations or arrangements (RFMO/As), other multi-lateral bodies, and individuals from national fisheries departments.

The VME website, including a Portal and the VME DataBase, gives users prompt access to information on measures taken by RFMO/As to protect VMEs in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ).

Press release




Mediterranean and the Black Sea governments join forces towards sustainable aquaculture development and food security

Fri, 12 Dec 2014 12:00:00 +0100

About 140 participants, representatives of governments and international organizations, delegates, experts and professionals from Mediterranean and Black Sea countries (Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine) met in Bari, Italy, on 11 December 2014, to discuss about the future of aquaculture in the region in light of Blue Growth and food security issues. The Regional Conference on “Blue Growth in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea: developing sustainable aquaculture for food security” was organized by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, together with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and in cooperation with the European Commission and the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies (MiPAAF).

Aquaculture has strong potential to provide solutions for food security and to ensure sustainable growth in the region and, as such, it is a key component of the FAO Blue Growth Initiative. “The question is not if aquaculture can be food for the future, it has to be. There are very bright prospects for the region since aquaculture in the Mediterranean is at a very advanced stage’’ said Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of FAO.



Policy Makers, Aquaculture and Fish Health Experts identify tools and programmes to be adopted in order to improve management and strengthen aquatic biosecurity governance in Africa

Thu, 11 Dec 2014 12:00:00 +0100

An aquatic biosecurity governance workshop bringing together more than 120 participants from Africa was held in Durban, South Africa between 05 and 07 November 2014.

The workshop, whose objective was to support sustainable aquatic food security for dietary animal protein and livelihoods through responsible aquaculture, kicked off with discussions on trends in global, African and SADC regional aquaculture as well as global and commodity-specific trends in aquatic animal health management.

Country specific and industry presentations on disease incidences and on-farm biosecurity management systems from Egypt, Madagascar, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia were made setting the stage for focused group discussions.



ABNJ Tuna Project Launches Shark and Bycatch Activities at Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission

Mon, 8 Dec 2014 12:00:00 +0100

On 2 December 2014, the ABNJ Tuna Project launched its shark and bycatch activities at a Sharks and Bycatch Consultative Committee (SBCC) meeting held in conjunction with the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) Annual Meeting in Apia, Samoa. The SBCC is designed to be an annual event consulting WCPFC and Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) member countries and territories on shark and bycatch activities led by WCPFC under the project.



Euro-Mediterranean Ministers acknowledge the key role of FAO-GFCM in the region

Mon, 8 Dec 2014 12:00:00 +0100

The FAO Director General, José Graziano da Silva, the Ministers and representatives of countries in the European Union, the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East, and several international and regional organizations – including the European Commission and Union for the Mediterranean – met in Palermo (Italy) on 28 November 2014 to attend the Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Agriculture, following the invitation by the Italian Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies, H.E. Maurizio Martina.

This conference was organized within the framework of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and brought together ministers and heads of delegations of 27 countries to discuss and subsequently sign a declaration which not only recognizes the importance of multilateral cooperation, but also welcomes stronger agricultural and rural policies in the Euro-Mediterranean region.



Boosting sustainable aquaculture in the Mediterranean

Mon, 8 Dec 2014 12:00:00 +0100

The Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, together with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and in cooperation with the European Commission and the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies (MiPAAF) are organizing, from 9 to 11 December 2014, a Regional Conference on “Blue Growth in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea: developing sustainable aquaculture for food security”. This event will take place at the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies of Bari (CIHEAM Bari), Italy.

The main objective of this Regional Conference is to take stock of the progress made by aquaculture in the Mediterranean and to address the main challenges for its sustainable development. It also aims to renew commitment among countries and actors concerned to promote a common strategy for aquaculture in the region.



Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture of Africa gearing to up-scaling performance

Fri, 5 Dec 2014 12:00:00 +0100

A working group to review the statutes and procedures of the Committee for Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture of Africa (CIFAA) has been constituted so as to strengthen the work of the continental body.

This was agreed at an extraordinary session of the CIFAA held on 1 and 2 December 2014 in Lusaka, Zambia. Furthermore, the Regional Office for Africa (RAF) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and the FAO Legal Counsel will provide technical assistance to the Working Group.

The Working Group, which will hold its first meeting in March 2015, shall also look at funding issues, funding mechanisms and working budgets, how to schedule sessions and also put under scrutiny issues of training and capacity development to be conducted through or facilitated by CIFAA. The Working Group shall then report its recommendations to a special session of CIFAA. Alhaji Jallow, CIFAA secretary, who was appointed facilitator and convener of the meetings, will work towards aligning the statutes and rules of procedures of CIFAA with relevant intergovernmental and economic fora in Africa.



Angola committed to growing sustainable aquaculture

Mon, 1 Dec 2014 12:00:00 +0100

The fisheries sector plays a very important role in the Angolan economy, as do agriculture and forestry. Taken together, they are a source of livelihood for about 85 percent of the population. Food security issues remain of paramount concern in the country, as about 80 percent of the country’s food requirements are imported. Given this, increasing domestic fish supply through improved aquaculture – a sector in which the country has tremendous potential – would have far-reaching positive effects on food and nutrition security.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is providing technical support to Angola on the project “Spatial Planning of Aquaculture Zones in the Republic of Angola”. This project aims to facilitate investment and promote an effectively governed aquaculture development sector that is socially inclusive, equitable and environmentally responsible. The Government of Angola has provided USD 200 000 to implement the first phase of the project within the ambit of the Country Programming Framework, which is a tool for the FAO country office's strategic prioritization and overall medium-term programming.



Asia-Pacific countries kick-off strategy and 15 year action plan on sustainable intensification of aquaculture to feed a protein-hungry world

Mon, 1 Dec 2014 12:00:00 +0100

The Asia-Pacific region has taken a step forward in the development of a coordinated strategy and action plan that will lead to the sustainable intensification of aquaculture. Senior government aquaculture and fisheries officials from 16 countries in the region, along with representatives of specialized organizations, the private sector and international funding agencies have agreed a regional strategy and action plan for the sustainable intensification of aquaculture for Asia and the Pacific.



Shark “ID” training in Seychelles and Mauritius

Fri, 28 Nov 2014 12:00:00 +0100

Fishers, observers and inspectors have learned how to “ID” sharks and rays thanks to the SmartFish “Sharks and Rays Initiative”. The initiative aims to: raise awareness about preserving the islands’ biodiversity; enable compliance with new international measures (e.g. CITES); and address global pressure on shark and ray conservation. International fora and instruments are increasingly highlighting the need to obtain information on species caught or affected by fisheries, either as target, bycatch or incidental catch.

The initiative has produced the “On Board Guide for the Identification of Pelagic Sharks and Rays (Western Indian Ocean)” – a handy tool for a wide range of users from both the public and private sectors. The guide is intended to help fishery workers to ID at sea the sharks and rays they encounter.
The initiative has also held two training workshops, one in Mauritius (28–30 October 2014) and the other in Seychelles (4–6 November 2014), to train professionals on how to use the guide and what to look for when trying to ID pelagic sharks and rays. At the end of the course, participants were expected to be able to: use the identification keys to ID pelagic sharks and rays; collect samples and biological data on the species; and be aware of CITES and IOTC measures. A similar workshop is planned for Madagascar and the Comoros in 2015.

FAO has long worked to improve shark management and conservation (e.g. the 1999 International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks). Today, 18 of the world’s 26 main shark-fishing nations have a national plan of action (NPOA) on sharks and 5 more are developing theirs. Seychelles is reviewing its NPOA, and Mauritius is developing one.



Experts develop a new set of regional management and conservation measures for queen conch

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:00:00 +0100

Some 50 experts and national authorities of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) representing 23 governments and international and national organizations met in Panama City, from 18 to 20 November 2014. The participants developed a new set of regional harmonized measures for the management and conservation of the queen conch, a large mollusc harvested for food and found throughout the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico that is declining in certain areas as a result of overfishing. The meeting was co-organized and sponsored by the Caribbean Fisheries Management Council (CFMC) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the CITES Secretariat, the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC) and FAO.



Workshop on Linking Global and Regional Levels in the Management of Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:00:00 +0100

17-20 February 2015, FAO, Rome, Italy: A workshop to foster an open and constructive policy dialogue for supporting national, regional, and global processes in place (formal and informal) in enhancing ecosystem approaches to the management of ABNJ.



Kenya and FAO collaborate in reducing malnutrition, improving food security and enhancing youth employment through aquaculture

Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:00:00 +0100

The Government of Kenya and the Food and Agriculture Organization have launched a three year project that aims to promote greater diversity in agricultural production and activities to improve nutrition and to offer better job prospects to young people in Kenya.

The Kenya component of the regional project will receive support of USD 1,060,000 over a period of three years with the aim to improve nutrition and food security through the creation decent employment opportunities for young men and women in the aquaculture sector.



Mozambique new home for South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission’s Secretariat

Mon, 17 Nov 2014 12:00:00 +0100

The Mozambique Minister of Fisheries, Mr Víctor Manuel Borges, and the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Assistant Director-General for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mr Árni Mathiesen, signed on 12th November a Host Agreement of the South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission’s Secretariat.

At the ceremony, Mr Mathiesen said it is “a clear signpost in the history of SWIOFC; a new path just opened for all of us”. On behalf of the Government, Víctor Manuel Borges said that the signature of this Agreement is “an important step that shows Mozambique’s commitment towards the regional cooperation in fisheries”.

Until now, SWIOFC’s Secretariat was located in Harare, Zimbabwe. The country is home to the FAO Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa but it is not a Member of the Commission. SWIOFC is composed of such costal states, which are FAO Members, whose territories are situated wholly or partly within the area of the Commission. Currently it has twelve Members: Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, and Yemen.



Call for protected areas to harness the benefits of sustainable use

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:00:00 +0100

The Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation held a panel discussion session entitled ‘Protected Areas and Sustainable Hunting and Fishing’ on Saturday, 15th November 2014 as part of Stream 4 – Supporting Human Life during the World Parks Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Sydney, Australia.

The joint FAO – CIC session examined the role of hunting and fishing in the planning and management of protected areas, whether these activities could support local community-based development and how management can maintain the wildlife habitat and hence a valuable food source.



Aquaculture can grow faster, raising micronutrient supply from fish

Fri, 14 Nov 2014 12:00:00 +0100

Fish farming will likely grow more than expected in the coming decade, offering a chance for improved nutrition for millions of people, especially in Asia and Africa, according to a new report.

Increased investment in the aquaculture sector - particularly in productivity-enhancing technologies including in the areas of water use, breeding, hatchery practices and feedstuff innovation - should boost farmed-fish production by as much as 4.14 percent per year through 2022, notably faster than the 2.54 percent growth forecast made earlier this year in a joint report by FAO and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.



Typhoon Haiyan - One year later

Mon, 10 Nov 2014 12:00:00 +0100

One year after Typhoon Haiyan devastated coastal and farmland areas in the central Philippines, farmers and fishers are well on the road to recovery and building more resilient livelihoods.

FAO, in close collaboration with the government of the Philippines, is reaching out to communities in severely affected areas through some 22 projects across the MIMAROPA, Western, Central and Eastern Visayas regions.



Blue Growth in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea: developing sustainable aquaculture for food security

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 12:00:00 +0100

Sustainable aquaculture development under the Blue Growth perspective, with a view to fostering socioeconomic growth and food security in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea will be the focus of the Regional Aquaculture Conference 2014.

From 9 to 11 December 2014, a Regional Conference to boost aquaculture simplification, growth and sustainability in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea will be organized by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, together with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of the FAO and in cooperation with the European Commission.

Information on background, logistics and registration is available on the Conference website



Montevideo acogió el Taller Regional para combatir la Pesca ilegal, no Declarada y no Reglamentada

Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:00:00 +0100

Del 29 de septiembre al 3 de octubre la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura (FAO) celebró en Montevideo el Taller Regional relativo a la “Implementación del Acuerdo FAO del 2009 sobre Medidas del Estado Rector del Puerto destinadas a prevenir, desalentar y eliminar la Pesca Ilegal No Declarada y No Reglamentada (pesca INDNR)”. Este taller fue organizado por la FAO con la financiación del Gobierno de Noruega y con el apoyo de la Organización de Pesquerías del Atlántico Nordeste (NEAFC).

El taller contó con la participación de representantes de 15 países de la región, Belice, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá, Perú, El Salvador, Uruguay, Venezuela, representantes de organizaciones intergubernamentales, Comisión Permanente del Pacifico Sur (CCPS), INFOPESCA, y organizaciones no gubernamentales, MarViva, PEW Charitable Trust y WWF.



CFS participants highlight the importance of the Voluntary Guidelines on Small-Scale Fisheries

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:00:00 +0100

The Committee on World Food Security, the world's foremost inclusive intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder platform for food security and nutrition, opened its 41st session (CFS 41).

CFS participants highlighted the importance of the Voluntary Guidelines on Small-Scale Fisheries adopted earlier this year by the FAO Committee on Fisheries and will look at the findings of a scientific report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition. This report stresses, among others, the importance of international partnerships and initiatives on oceans and fish to better link fish production growth, sustainability and food security and nutrition.



More aquaculture production needed to feed a growing and urbanizing world

Fri, 3 Oct 2014 12:00:00 +0100

Six countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the world’s largest consumer of fish products, have come together to draft a work plan on the sustainable intensification of aquaculture for ‘Blue Growth,’ the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), announced yesterday.

Representatives from the Governments of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam are working with FAO global and regional fishery and aquaculture experts in the development of an FAO regional initiative to enhance production of aquaculture in an environmentally sound and sustainable way – “Blue Growth.”



Combating challenges together for global fisheries development

Fri, 26 Sep 2014 12:00:00 +0100

The FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department fosters partnerships with private sector players who are working towards the long-term sustainable use of aquatic resources for global food security. In the following interview, Alastair Macfarlane, executive secretary of the International Coalition of Fisheries Associations, talks about the importance of partnering with FAO and issues of growing concern for global fisheries and aquaculture.



Oceans crucial for our climate, food and nutrition

Fri, 26 Sep 2014 12:00:00 +0100

Better management of the world's ocean resources is crucial to ensuring food global security, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said during a roundtable discussion with United States Secretary of State John Kerry held yesterday.

The event, "Our Ocean: Next Steps on Sustainable Fishing and Marine Protected Areas", was organized as a follow-up to this week's UN climate summit and to take advantage of the presence of world leaders at the ongoing UN General Assembly.



Maximizing the contribution of fish to human nutrition

Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:00:00 +0100

In recent years, with dramatic rises and increased volatility in food prices, there is a risk that the diets of the poor will become even less diverse and more dependent on starchy staples. There is therefore a renewed emphasis on the production, access, distribution and utilization of common, micronutrient-rich foods. Fish, especially nutrient-rich small fish, from the wild and from aquaculture, can play a vital role in improving human nutrition.

Ahead of the ICN2 Second International Conference on Nutrition, FAO and WorldFish have prepared a paper to consider how the contribution of fish to diets, particularly those of the poor, can be maximized.

For more information:
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department
ICN2
WorldFish



News on FAO Deep-seas High Seas Programme - Summer 2014

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 12:00:00 +0100

FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture Department newsletter of the Deep-Sea High Seas (DSHS) Programme. In this issue:
  • ABNJ Deep Seas Project Approved
  • RFMO Collaboration
  • New Identification Tools for Deep-sea
  • Cartilaginous Fishes of the Indian Ocean
  • Testing the VME database
  • FAO Regional Workshops on VMEs in the SE Atlantic Ocean and North Pacific