Ocean Action Hub

29 Jul 2019 - Overfishing and uneven implementation of international instruments for sustainable fisheries of concern, despite improvements in management.

The world is off-track to meet most of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets linked to hunger, food security and nutrition, according to a FAO report released today.

"The report paints a grim picture. Four years into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, regression is the norm when it comes to ending hunger and rendering agriculture and the management of natural resources - be that on land or in our oceans - sustainable," said Pietro Gennari, FAO Chief Statistician.

"Being off-track when it comes to reaching core pillars of the SDGs unquestionably puts at risk the achievement of the entire 2030 Agenda, and makes our overarching goal of ensuring an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future for our planet and for present and future generations less attainable," said FAO Deputy Director-General for Climate and Natural Resources Maria Helena Semedo.

In the first report of its kind, FAO analysed, in a visual way, major global trends and data from up to 234 countries and territories on 18 indicators of four SDGs (2, 6, 14 and 15) under the UN agency's custodianship. (1)

Overfishing and uneven implementation of international instruments for sustainable fisheries of concern

One third of the world's marine fish stocks are overfished today, compared to only 10 percent in 1974.

The report notes that despite some recent improvements in fisheries management and stock status in developed countries, the proportion of stocks fished within biologically sustainable levels has decreased significantly in developing countries. 

Moreover, some 30 percent of countries still have a low or medium implementation record of the key international instruments combatting illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and some 20 percent of countries have a low or medium implementation record of the key instruments to promote access of small-scale fishers to productive resources, services and markets.

What needs to be done to reverse worsening trends  

The report puts forward a number of recommendations aimed at reversing these worsening trends. First, many of the problems mentioned above would probably be less acute if there was sufficient investment in the agricultural sector (including fishery and forestry).

Promoting productivity growth and strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity of small-scale food producers is also critical to reversing the trend of rising hunger and reducing the number of people living in extreme poverty, the report stresses.

Finally, all countries need to urgently implement transformational changes in fishery management and governance. This would also have a positive economic impact: overall, rebuilding overfished stocks could increase annual fishery production by 16.5 million tonnes and annual revenues from fishing by $32 billion.

(1) FAO is the designated custodian agency for 21 SDG indicators in total, and data is currently available for 18 of these.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/1202226/icode/

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Sustainable fisheries