14 December 2016 - With a view to meeting global goals on hunger, oceans and biodiversity conservation, several international organizations and governments have recently announced actions meant to boost the sustainability of aquaculture and fisheries management. In one such announcement, WorldFish launched a 2017-2022 strategy aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs) and other intergovernmental bodies advanced strategies for aquaculture and fisheries that also account for livelihoods and nutrition. In addition, the US Government announced a program to address illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in seafood.
On aquaculture, WorldFish, a member of the CGIAR Consortium, launched a 2017-2022 strategy that charts the organization’s course to achieve targets on increasing sustainable aquaculture production, enhancing food and nutrition security and providing pathways out of poverty for fishers and fish farmers in developing countries, in line with the SDGs. The strategy details WorldFish’s contributions to the Goals (SDGs – 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15 and 17) with an emphasis on strengthening fisheries governance, developing improved fish breeds and feeds, and delivering on nutrition. WorldFish Director-General, Nigel Preston, explained, “sustainable aquaculture practices offer water, energy and feed conversion efficiencies superior to any other domesticated animal food production system—and fish is the only animal-source food that can be produced in saltwater, offering unique advantages for climate resilient production. The new WorldFish strategy outlines ambitious targets that will maximize the nutritional and livelihood benefits for millions of the world’s most vulnerable people.”
In line with these aims, WorldFish highlighted a project to make improved fish strains of tilapia, Indian carp and African catfish more accessible to poor people in Bangladesh, Egypt, Kenya and Mozambique. The European Commission (EC) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are funding the ‘Improving the technological foundations for sustainable aquaculture’ project, which is working to make improved species of fish breeds and food more widely available and equitably distributed. The project addresses broader household food and nutrition security needs.