Sustainable Fisheries Management

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					FAO and the Global Environment

Sustainable Fisheries Management
 Design: Maxtudio, Roma/NYC

                              global fisheries face the ecosystem challenge
                              There is no question that the world’s fisheries provide crucial resources for both food and income. More than
                              2.6 billion people rely on fish for at least 20 percent of their animal protein needs and, in many parts of the
                              developing world, fish are their major source of animal protein. In addition, some 200 million people depend
                              directly on fisheries for their livelihoods.

                              Yet, in spite of their obvious importance, global fishery       n   the ecosystem approach to fisheries in marine, coastal
                              resources and their ecosystems face ongoing crises. While           and inland waters;
                              more than half of the world’s fish stocks are fully exploited   n   fisheries and ecosystem knowledge management
                              (52 percent), another fourth are either overexploited (17           and information systems, including the State of World
                              percent) or depleted (7 percent).They also suffer from the          Fisheries and Aquaculture, the UN Atlas of the Oceans,
                              impacts of aquatic pollution and habitat degradation, in            global and regional assessments and databases of
                              some cases caused by the fisheries themselves that, all             fisheries resources, fisheries resources monitoring and
                              too often, are involved in excessive exploitation and use of        fish stock depletion alert systems; and
                              destructive gear.                                               n   policies and best management practices for responsible
                              Securing the future of the world’s fish stocks requires
                              addressing all environmental, social and institutional
                              problems arising from inside and outside fisheries. Achieving
                              sustainability of fisheries is a global task that requires
                              informed and coordinated action by a range of national and
                              international fisheries and environmental institutions and
                              organizations, including numerous regional fishery bodies.
                              FAO strives to meet this challenge through activities that
                              contribute to the development and effective implementation
                              of measures targeted by the GEF priorities in International
                              Waters, Biodiversity and Integrated Ecosystem Management.

                              FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible
                              Fisheries and the ecosystem approach
                              to fisheries
                              The Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, adopted
                              in 1995 as the global intergovernmental framework for
                              sustainable fisheries, calls for effective conservation,
                              management and development of living aquatic resources
                              with due respect to the ecosystem and biodiversity. Its
                              implementation is a top priority of FAO. Key components
                              involve promotion and application of:
                                                                                              WORking FOR eFFeCtive implementAtiOn
                              n   four international plans of action – reducing incidental    Effective application of the FAO Code of Conduct, including
                                  catch of seabirds in longline fisheries; conservation and   the implementation of the ecosystem approach to fisheries,
                                  management of sharks; management of fishing capacity;       requires building institutional and human resource capacity.
                                  and governance and best management practices to             This presents a major challenge, especially for developing
                                  combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing;         countries that lack adequate technical and policy assistance
                              n   the Strategy for Improving Information on Status and        and financial resources. FAO currently operates more than
                                  Trends of Capture Fisheries;                                100 national, regional and global projects on responsible
    Lake Tanganyika Partners agree to
    support responsible fisheries and reduce
    Overfishing, deforestation, erosion and pollution, all
    associated with population growth within the Tanganyika
    Basin, threaten the well-being of the Lake’s ecosystem
    and local people. FAO/FishCode, the African Development
    Bank, the Nordic Development Fund, IUCN, UNDP/GEF
    and the governments of Burundi, D.R. Congo, Tanzania
    and Zambia have launched a regional cooperation
    programme for the integrated management of Lake
    Tanganyika. It aims at reducing poverty and promoting
    responsible fisheries and environmental management
    n establishment of the Lake Tanganyika Authority;

    n implementation of sustainable fisheries practices;

    n infrastructure and local development activities; and          FAO has significant experience in working with GEF and
    n pollution control and environmental conservation              its partners, including the World Bank, UNDP, UNEP, the
       initiatives.                                                 regional development banks and UNIDO, international
                                                                    and national NGOs, such as WWF and IUCN, and bilateral
                                                                    development partners, including the European Union,
fisheries. Some 130 FAO fisheries experts work in a variety         Finland, Germany, Japan, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain,
of fields and disciplines, at regional and sub-regional offices     Sweden and the United Kingdom. At the local level, FAO
around the world as well as at headquarters, in support of          works in close collaboration with fishers and community-
such activities as the following.                                   based organizations.

n    FishCode: Global Partnerships for Responsible Fisheries –      moving ahead together
     FAO umbrella programme for implementation of the Code          The FAO Committee on Fisheries is the leading international
     of Conduct;                                                    forum for intergovernmental consultations, building
n    Sustainable Management of Large Marine Ecosystems –            consensus and setting standards for responsible fisheries
     three projects underway in Bay of Bengal, Benguela             worldwide. FAO is committed to continuing its collaboration
     Current and Canary Current;                                    with a wide range of partners for the sustainable
n    Sustainable Fisheries Livelihoods Programme – 25 West          management of the world’s fisheries resources and their
     African countries;                                             habitats. This is particularly important to GEF and its
n    Reduction of Environmental Impact from Tropical Shrimp         partners in the areas of developing and applying strategic
     Trawling;                                                      fisheries management policies and related practical and
n    Strategic Partnership for a Sustainable Fisheries              cost-effective technical measures at local, national and
     Investment Fund in the Large Marine Ecosystems of Sub-         ecosystem levels.
     Saharan Africa;
     International Cooperation with the Nansen Programme
                                                                     Sea trials and workshops lead to
     and its related projects – including support to the
     implementation of an ecosystem approach to fisheries.
                                                                     reduction of bycatch and costs
                                                                     Tropical shrimp trawling has one of the largest bycatch
    Strategic partnership supports                                   of any fishery. This bycatch, having both economic and
    sustainable fisheries investment                                 environmental implications, can consist of marketable
    fund in Africa                                                   fish, discard and occasionally sea turtles. Improving
                                                                     the selectivity of shrimp trawls can reduce this bycatch
    A new funding scheme committed to reducing poverty               and the sorting and disposal costs it involves. A GEF/
    in coastal communities and curtailing overfishing of             UNEP/FAO project “Reduction of Environmental Impact
    marine resources has recently been launched by the               from Tropical Shrimp Trawling”, which is underway in
    African Union, the World Bank, FAO, and WWF. A GEF               12 countries on four continents, is developing bycatch
    commitment of US$60 million will be matched by other             reduction solutions tailored to each country’s needs.
    donors, providing some US$240 million over the next              Working with the industry, fisheries management and
    ten years. The partnership supports community-driven             enforcement agencies, the project assists participating
    management, fisheries monitoring and control, marine             countries in introducing new techniques and supportive
    protected areas, and alternative livelihoods.                    legislation for bycatch reduction.

For further information please visit: FAO Fisheries Department,
Or contact: mr U. Barg, Fi Focal point for geF,

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