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FAO launches the first working version of the Global Record online Information System

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +0100

(image) Last week, the first working version of the Information System of the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels (Global Record) was released to member countries in order to collect their data.

The information system is an online comprehensive and updated repository of vessels involved in fishing operations which will serve as a single-access point of information to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing that is estimated at an annual cost of US$ 10 - 23 billion.

An event held following an informal meeting of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) displayed this new tool designed to enable State authorities and regional fisheries management organizations , to work together in order to make it more difficult for vessels to operate outside the law.

This tool is expected to serve inspectors, port State administrations, flag State administrations, non-governmental organizations and the general public.

Certified data are compiled, disseminated and provided by official State authorities responsible for this information. The first working version of the Global Record Information System is currently open exclusively to authorized data providers to insert official data pertaining to, amongst others, their country's fishing fleet including Vessel details; Flag, Vessel and Owner history records; Authorization Details; as well as other relevant information.

Once content is inserted by the authorities responsible for it, the tool will be made accessible to the general public.

The foundations of the Global Record Programme were laid in 2005 when the Rome Declaration on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing was adopted by the FAO Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries. The tool ties in to a framework of several legal instruments available including the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA).

The Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels has been developed thanks to the financial support of the European Commission, the Icelandic Ministry of Industries and Innovation, the Spanish Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States Department of Commerce.

Aquaculture Operations in Floating HDPE Cages: A Field Handbook

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +0100

The purpose of this manual is to provide a general overview of farming and management techniques needed to operate high-density polyethylene (HDPE) floating fish-culture cages, including the types of materials used, their technical specifications and operability.

Read more (now also available in Arabic)

FAO Press release: Tracking fish “from sea to plate” to keep illegal catches out of global supply chains

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +0100

12 April 2017, Rome - An FAO-led push to establish internationally agreed standards that can guide the development of catch documentation schemes aimed at keeping illegally caught fish off store-shelves and consumers' plates has taken an important step forward.


Reducing health risks from antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 12:00:00 +0100

Click for enlarged image

The development of resistant strains of disease-causing microorganisms is an important health issue of global concern. When microbes such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses become resistant to antimicrobial substances, the diseases they may cause become more difficult or impossible to treat. Resistance is developed by the indiscriminate use of antimicrobials and places human health at risk.

The discovery of antibiotics revolutionized medicine, creating a belief that a 'magic bullet' had finally been found to control bacterial diseases. Antibiotics, a class of antimicrobial agents, kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria, but they have no significant effect on other types of microorganisms such as viruses.

"Bacteria, the oldest life form on this planet have survived 4 billion years due to their remarkable ability to adapt to changes in their environment... any 'resistance' gene present in any member of any species in the microbiome has the potential to transfer to any other species" says Dr Peter Smith of Ireland.

National delegates representing China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Viet Nam; fish health experts from India, Ireland, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Viet Nam and the United States; and representatives of the Government of India, Nitte University, FAO, NACA and the OIE are participating at an international workshop to address antimicrobial use (AMU) and AMR in aquaculture, convened by FAO and Nitte University, in Mangalore, India, 10-12 April.

Dr J.K. Jena, Deputy Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, highlighted the importance of aquaculture and the need to address issues related to diseases and the irresponsible use of veterinary drugs. "Strengthening laboratory networks and increasing AMU/AMR awareness as well as research on safety, efficacy and withdrawal period, resistance mode and process of transfer of resistance for different antimicrobials are needed", he said.

In his Presidential Address, the Vice-Chancellor of Nitte University, Professor Ramananda Shetty, urged interdisciplinary studies to be undertaken as all sectors have a responsibility towards this burning problem. He emphasized the need for regulation of antibiotic sales, responsible implementation of treatment regimens by the doctors and diligent attention to medical advice by the patients.

The complexity of the issue calls for a "One Health" platform involving both human medicine and the agriculture sector in an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to tackle what is very much a common problem. This approach combined with concerted actions at the national level that span policy and regulatory spheres, preventive actions and engagement with producers and other food value chain stakeholders are needed to prevent and reduce AMR.

Detailed guidance was provided on developing the aquaculture component of the National Action Plans (NAP) on AMR covering the four focus areas of FAO's Action Plan on AMR: awareness, governance (NAP), evidence (usage and surveillance) and practice (prudent use). National delegates will further develop the action plans, disseminate the scientific information delivered during the workshop and create awareness of AMR issues among national stakeholders.

New publication online: Handbook for fisheries socio-economic sample survey - principles and practice

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:00:00 +0100

(image) Socio-economic data are a key component of the scientific advice required for the participatory management of fisheries, yet in many countries these data are limited, usually because of a lack of technical capacity for their collection. The aim of this handbook is to act as a practical guide for addressing the limited availability of socio-economic data as well as a general lack of capacity for socio-economic data collection. Specifically, it addresses survey design, data processing, and the analysis and dissemination of this data. The handbook has been written for those planning surveys and coordinating and supervising all the phases of the survey data collection process, from the sampling design to the final estimates, including the organization of the fieldwork.

The handbook consists of three sections. In the first it introduces the basic theory and background required for understanding the socio-economic survey methodologies. The second section moves from sampling design; fleet segmentation; questionnaire design; and training data collectors, to data quality checks and treatment for making estimations. The final section covers the steps required to move from data collection into the calculation of statistics. Indicators, and the methodology used for their calculation, are presented and this is followed by an in-depth and practical example of how the data can be presented and utilized for policy-level decisions.


Citation: Pinello, D., Gee, J. & Dimech, M. 2017. Handbook for fisheries socio-economic sample survey – principles and practice. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 613. Rome, FAO.

Protecting Pristine Paradise Palau: Technical deliberations tackle regulations on aquatic biosecurity and biofouling management

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:00:00 +0100


Minister Umiich Sengebau (1st row, 4th from left) opened the national consultation on Aquatic Biosecurity and Biofouling Management

Some thirty participants representing the government (Bureau of Justice: Office of the Attorney General and Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection) Bureau of Agriculture (BOA including the Division of Biosecurity), Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, Environmental Quality Protection Board, Ngatpang State; the private sector (BIOTA, Inc., Coral Reef Research Foundation, Palau Aquaculture Cooperative Association, Palau Conservation Society, Environment, Inc.); and the academe (Palau Community College) met on 28 March during a national consultation held at the Palasia Hotel. The participants deliberated on the draft regulations on aquatic biosecurity and biofouling management, actions that are intended to protect Palau's young and growing aquaculture sector, as well as its exquisite coral reefs and lagoons.

Aquaculture is an important source of biological invasions, either because the organisms being raised are aquatic invasive species or because of the presence of hitchhikers in imported shipments. Aquaculture organisms can also carry diseases which can impact the aquaculture industry and may spread to native species. In order to reduce pressures on wild marine fish and other marine organisms of economic importance, the national government has decided to increase aquaculture efforts in both marine and freshwater. While efforts have focused on breeding native fish and shellfish such as groupers, clams and mangrove crabs, there is also pressure to import exotic species, such as tilapia and whiteleg shrimp.

Shipping is also a major concern, as it is has caused the global spread of many marine organisms. All groups of marine organisms may be transported through ballast water, while encrusting organisms (e.g. macro-algae, bivalve mollusks, barnacles, bryozoans, sponges and tunicates), can be carried on ships' hulls. Both may result in the introduction and spread of hard-to-eradicate species that prey on or outcompete native species and foul ports, coasts and aquaculture facilities. These invasive species are a serious threat to the pristine marine waters of Palau. In particular, recreational yachts pose a very high risk for hull-fouling organisms, as they are slow moving and may lack the incentives to keep their hulls immaculate.

With the support of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through TCP/PLW/3601/C1: Strengthening Biosecurity Capacity of Palau, the BOA and other partners in the marine and aquaculture sectors have been working with a team of experts on aquatic animal health, hull fouling, and database development to support the recently approved Biosecurity Act of 2014 that will protect Palau's aquaculture producers from diseases and other threats to their farms.

In opening the national consultation, the Honorable Umiich Sengebau, Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism, thanked FAO and the participants for supporting this important effort by the BOA to protect Palau's aquaculture industry and our pristine marine environment. "These protections should be adopted and implemented as quickly as possible, and I ask that all here today work together toward this end."

There was strong consensus from the participants of the national consultation to support the implementation of the Biosecurity Act of 2014, finalize the draft regulations and submit a position paper that will enable Palau's President and Cabinet to make informed decisions to support Pristine Paradise Palau through a culture of protection and conservation.

New publication online: Aquaculture zoning, site selection and area management under the ecosystem approach to aquaculture

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 12:00:00 +0100

(image) The ecosystem approach to aquaculture provides the conceptual guideline for spatial planning and management. This publication describes the major steps related to these activities. The rationale for and objectives of each step, the ways (methodologies) to implement it, and the means (tools) that are available to enable a methodology are described in a stepwise fashion. Recommendations to practitioners and policy-makers are provided. A separate policy brief accompanies this paper. The benefits from spatial planning and management are numerous and include higher productivity and returns for investors, and more effective mitigation of environmental, economic and social risks, the details of which are provided in this paper.

This publication is organized in two parts. Part one is the "Guidance"; it is the main body of the document and describes the processes and steps for spatial planning, including aquaculture zoning, site selection and area management. Part two of the publication includes six annexes that present key topics, including: (i) binding and non-legally binding international instruments, which set the context for sustainable national aquaculture; (ii) biosecurity zoning; (iii) aquaculture certification and zonal management; (iv) an overview of key tools and models that can be used to facilitate and inform the spatial planning process; (v) case studies from ten countries – Brazil, Chile, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Oman, the Philippines, Turkey, Uganda and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and (vi) a workshop report. The country case studies illustrate key aspects of the implementation of spatial planning and management at the national level, but mostly within local contexts. Take-home messages include the ways in which institutional, legal and policy issues are addressed to implement the process, or parts of the process.

FAO Expert Workshop to Develop a Compliance Manual Series to Support Small-Scale Aquaculture Certification, 3-5 March 2017, Manila, Philippines

Fri, 3 Mar 2017 12:00:00 +0100

(image) Aquaculture is an industry still dominated by small-scale farmers. Although nearly 70 percent of the global aquaculture production originates from small-scale farming sector, almost no small-scale farmers or farming systems are currently certified. Certification of small-scale aquaculture has been an issue, mainly due to the unbearable cost of certification as well as difficulties in complying to the required certification standards. Many small-scale farmers find themselves difficult to comply with the standards set by the certifiers, mainly due to lack of finance, technical knowledge and organizational capacity. In some cases, it is also evident that necessary state support, including appropriate national policy and legal environment, does not exist in some countries. Therefore, improving the knowledge of small-scale aquafarmers on how to comply with certification standards, as well as to identify national policy and regulatory gaps supporting small-scale aquaculture certification, is becoming necessary.

The FAO Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification, developed after a transparent and exhaustive consultative process, was approved by FAO Committee on Fisheries in 2011. The guidelines provide guidance for the development, organization and implementation of credible aquaculture schemes. A range of issues considered in the guidelines include the following: (1) animal health and welfare; (2) food safety; (3) environmental integrity; and (4) socio-economic aspects. Since its approval and adoption by FAO members, established third-party aquaculture certification schemes claimed that their schemes are in compliance with FAO guidelines. Several national aquaculture certification schemes which came to effect recently also endorsed FAO guidelines as the basis for developing theirs schemes. The FAO member states subsequently requested FAO to develop evaluation framework for assessing conformity of certification schemes with the FAO Guideline. Based on the those efforts, multi-stakeholder initiative "Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI)" has developed the Global Benchmarking Tool to measure the performance of certification schemes in order to facilitate their implementation and the use.

Assistance to small-scale aquaculture and to developing countries is one of the fundamental principles of these technical guidelines on aquaculture certification. Thus special and preferential assistance to the small-scale farming sector and to developing countries is given in the implementation of aquaculture certification.

In this context, small-scale aquaculture is defined as aquaculture farms with small production volume, and/or relatively small-scale surface area, mainly without permanent labour, and typically lacking technical and financial capacity to support individual certification.

A small group of experts on small-scale aquaculture, aquaculture certification and aquatic animal health are currently discussing a format and framework to develop a compliance manual series to advice small-scale aquaculture farmers, how to comply with the FAO technical guidelines on aquaculture certification.

Mr Jose Luis Fernandez, FAO Representative to the Philippines, welcomed the experts and emphasized the importance of certification to access markets. Small-scale farmers continuously face challenges including low production volume, higher production cost, lack of financial support, and limited control of sales of products. So how can we assist small-scale producers to comply with aquaculture certification? Cluster certification may be a way forward for small-scale producers.

"Veterinary controls in international fish trade": Volume 121 of Globefish Research Programme

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:00:00 +0100

Fishery products are still among the most extensively traded commodities in the world. For this reason, and also owing to their perishable nature, most countries have strict regulations and border inspection procedures. Freshness, hygiene and packaging, as well as accompanying documentation, are rigorously checked. The substantial variation among the standards and regimes of importing countries constitutes one of the most serious difficulties for exporters in the international market of fish and fishery products.

New R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen vessel has been delivered

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:00:00 +0100


On 10 January 2017, the new R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen arrived in Bergen for the first time, after the delivery of the Spanish shipyard Astilleros Gondan.

The vessel, which is owned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) was built as part of the tripartite agreement between FAO, the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) to help developing countries improve their fisheries management.
Now the vessel, equipped with the most up to date technology, is undergoing testing of equipment and functions before the first survey planned for the beginning of May 2017.

An official naming ceremony will be held in Oslo, Norway, on 24 March 2017.

More information available here.

National Workshop for the Development of a National Aquatic Animal Health and Biosecurity (NAAHB) Strategy, 24-27 January 2017, Suva, Fiji

Fri, 3 Feb 2017 12:00:00 +0100

Funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and co-organized with the Ministry of Fisheries (MoF), the Biosecurity Agency of Fiji (BAF), the University of South Pacific (USP) and facilitated by FAO, the workshop participated by 39 representing the government, the academe (USP), producers (Pacific Ocean Culture Pte Ltd., The Crab Company of Fiji Ltd., Valili Pearls Co., Ltd., Pacific Ocean Culture Pte Ltd., Aquarium Fish (Fiji) Ltd. and Vet Essentials Fiji Ltd.) and regional and international organizations (FAO, JICA, Secretariat of the Pacific Community), prepared a draft NAAHB Strategy. A broad yet comprehensive strategy for building and enhancing capacity for the management of national aquatic biosecurity and aquatic animal health, the strategy will focus on five priority commodities, namely: prawn & shrimp, seaweeds, pearls, Nile tilapia, giant clam & sandfish. The strategy contains the national action plans at the short-, medium- and long-term using phased implementation based on national needs and priorities. The strategy framework consists of Purpose and Vision Statements and Guiding Principles. The strategy includes 10 Programme Component/Elements, each one contains a description of the scope, objectives, current status and projects/activities that will be implemented at the short-, medium- and long-term based on national needs and priorities. Responsible entities for each project/activity are also included as well as an Implementation Plan. The 10 Programme Components/Elements are: (1) Policy, Legislation and Enforcement, (2) Risk Analysis, (3) Pathogen List, (4) Border Inspection and Quarantine, (5) Surveillance, Monitoring and Reporting, (6) Emergency Preparedness and Contingency Planning, (7) Institutional Structure (Including Infrastructure), (8) Research and Development, (9) Regional and International Cooperation, and (10) Capacity Building. Development of a NAAHB Strategy involves an extensive & iterative process led by the Competent Authority and extensive consultation with key stakeholders from other government agencies, academia and the private sector. It is a proactive measure without which a country can only react in a piecemeal fashion to new developments in international trade and the global situation with regard to serious transboundary aquatic animal diseases (TAADs), and its aquaculture and fisheries sectors will remain highly vulnerable to new and emerging diseases that may severely affect capture fisheries and aquaculture production, leading to major social and economic impacts. Fiji can take an important lead role in setting an example for the Pacific region with a vision that Fiji's aquatic wildlife and aquaculture species thrive in a healthy environment, valued by its society that embraces and sustainably benefits from the diversity of its aquatic resources. Fiji's MoF has taken the initial necessary steps for developing a NAAHB Strategy for the country. The development of this strategy is a very timely initiative and is in line and in parallel to a number of legal and policy instruments (e.g. Aquaculture Bill 2016 scheduled for 3rd hearing at the Parliament; the draft National Fisheries Policy and the draft Fiji Aquaculture Strategy) – all of which will support sustainable aquaculture development. Mr Semi Koroilavesau, The Honorable Minister for Fisheries, Mr Hiroyuki Sawada, JICA Resident Representative, Dr Ciro Rico, Head of the School of Marine Studies of USP, Dr Robin Yarrow, Keynote Speaker and Chairperson of National Trust of Fiji and Dr Melba Reantaso of FAO graced the Opening session of the workshop. Further information can be obtained by writing to [...]

Opportunities in FI: World Aquaculture Performance Indicators (WAPI) Internship

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +0100

Download announcement and terms of reference here.

New publication online: Marine spatial planning for enhanced fisheries and aquaculture sustainability - its application in the Near East

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


Meaden, G.J., Aguilar-Manjarrez, J.,
Corner, R.A., O'Hagan, A.M. & Cardia,
2016. Marine spatial planning for
enhanced fisheries and aquaculture
sustainability - its application in the
Near East. FAO Fisheries and
Aquaculture Technical Paper
No. 604. Rome, FAO.

This document provides a clear and comprehensive account for the application of marine spatial planning (MSP) within the Regional Commission for Fisheries (RECOFI) region. It builds on regional technical workshops, held under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), aimed principally at improving the prospects for fisheries and aquaculture in the Near East.

Marine spatial planning provides a step-by-step process that allows for the cooperative integration of the major marine uses and users within a defined marine area. These ordered procedures  allow all stakeholders to work towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of identified marine activities. The principles of the ecosystem approach to both fisheries and aquaculture can readily be incorporated into the process. The output of MSP is the development of a plan that addresses any potentially conflicting uses of the sea, thus enabling the strategic, forward-looking planning for the regulation, zoning, management, protection and sustainability of the marine environment. MSP can best function if it includes continuing reinforcement and adjustments of learned experiences over a long time period.

The document includes three important annexes. The first includes the main recommendations concerning the adoption of marine spatial planning taken from the RECOFI (FAO) Cairo workshop in 2012. The second exemplifies how MSP might best be adopted in Saudi Arabia, with emphasis being placed on the types of marine activities that must be considered and the range of data and their sources that should be procured. The third annex provides a comprehensive listing of additional information about MSP, including worldwide examples where MSP has been applied under varied local conditions at highly variable geographic scales.

Download document here

Experts gather in Frascati for aquatic microbiology

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


First row: L-R seated: Dr Iddya Karunasagar (India, FAO
retiree), Dr Rohana Subasinghe (Sri Lanka, FAO retiree),
Dr Olga Haenen (Netherlands, Wageningen Bioveterinary
Research), Dr Indrani Karunasagar (India, Nitte University),
Dr Larry Hanson (USA, Mississippi State University),
Ms Elena Irde (FAO-Rome), Dr Mark Lawrence (USA,
Mississippi State University), Dr Andrea Dallocco (Italy).
Second row: L-R standing: Dr Melba Reantaso (FAO-Rome),
Dr Snježana Zrncic' (Croatia, Croatian Veterinary Institute)

A group of aquatic microbiology and aquatic animal health experts from Croatia, India, Sri Lanka, the Netherlands, and the United States of America gathered for a 3-day book write-shop organized by the FAO Aquaculture Branch, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department in Frascati, Italy from 12-14 December 2016. This publication "Responsible Management of Bacterial Diseases in Aquaculture" contains 10 bacterial disease groups belonging to six gram-negative bacteria (e.g. vibriosis, aeromonasiasis, edwardsiellosis, pseudomonasiasis, flavobacteriosis, infection with intracellular bacteria) and four gram-positive bacteria (e.g. mycobacteriosis, streptococcosis, renibacteriosis and infection with anaerobic bacteria) consisting of some 40 pathogens considered as major bacterial diseases (based on a set criteria) of cultured finfish, crustaceans and molluscs in fresh and marine waters, some of which have zoonotic potential.

This publication covering four chapters (1. Introduction; 2. Bacterial diseases: general considerations; 3. Bacterial diseases: pathogen-specific considerations; and 4. Issues and challenges in managing bacterial diseases in aquaculture) and intended to a wide range of users, is being developed in recognition of the need to responsibly manage bacterial diseases in aquaculture, to reduce the use of antibiotics and thus avoid resistance, as well to find alternatives to antibiotics. It is expected that the book will be released in 2017.

Further information can be obtained by writing to

Press release: FAO/SMCP/MPEM workshop on eco-labelling of octopus in Mauritania

Thu, 1 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +0100

(image) In view of the economic and social importance of the octopus fishery in Mauritania and its leading role in seafood exports from Mauritania, the SMCP (Seafood marketing and trade promotion of Mauritania) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have been exploring since 2015 ways and means to promote sustainable octopus fisheries through eco-labelling. The eco-labelling approach has been framed within the 2015-2019 National strategy for Fisheries Management of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Economy (MPEM), which was adopted by the Council of Ministers in February 2015.

(image) An FAO/SMCP/MPEM workshop on eco-labelling of octopus in Mauritania was held in Nouadhibou during the period 25 to 26 October 2016. It was attended by national and international experts representing fisheries research, government, academia and industry.

Using the FAO guidelines for eco-labelling of fish and fishery products from marine fisheries and the related methodology of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for fisheries improvement, the workshop reviewed research data, studies and experiences of octopus harvesting and management in Mauritania to identify achievements for consolidations, as well as gaps and deficiencies to address in the 3 main areas of fisheries management: the stock, the eco-system and the management system.

The workshop has:

  • Confirmed the interest and usefulness of eco-labelling as a way to promote sustainable management and harvesting of octopus in Mauritania
  • Taken stock of the progress achieved since the  pre-evaluation that was carried out in 2010 using the MSC methodology
  • Designed the major elements of an action plan to address gaps and insufficiencies and assign responsibilities for its implementation

The workshop outcome will be used to develop shortly a roadmap for introducing eco-labelling of octopus in Mauritania and to mobilize the necessary resources to that effect. In this respect, the SMCP, that is mandated to promote the quality and label of the seafood exported from Mauritania and which is the major counterpart of seafood importers, will act as a focal point for this initiative. It will work to federate the efforts of the stakeholders and concerned institutions in Mauritania. FAO will make available its technical assistance and expertise for its implementation. A working group of experts from FAO and Mauritania will prepare by January 2017 a detailed action plan for eco-labelling octopus in Mauritania with defined activities, responsibilities, timetable, investment, monitoring and evaluation.

November 2016 issue of FAO Aquaculture eBulletin

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 12:00:00 +0100

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

Full article

Information: V. Crespi (image)

FAO Aquaculture Newsletter (FAN) 55 is out

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The Aquaculture Branch of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department has published the FAO Aquaculture Newsletter (FAN) 55. FAN is issued two times a year. It presents articles and views from the FAO aquaculture programme and highlights various aspects of aquaculture as seen from the perspective of both headquarters and the regional and subregional offices in the field.

Information: V. Crespi (image)

CACfish demonstrates its value for the region

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:00:00 +0100

The Central Asian and Caucasus Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Commission (CACFish), a body established in 2011 under FAO, convened in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 10-12 October for its 5th session and reviewed capacity building activities undertaken in the region to improve the sector.

Full story

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.


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).

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

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.



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.

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.


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 and

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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[...]

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

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 a[...]

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 guideli[...]

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: -

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

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 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 [...]

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 ch[...]

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 dedicati[...]

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.

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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 ground[...]

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.