Growing demand for fish and other seafood is rapidly changing the fishing and aquaculture sector. Consumption is expected to rise, driven mainly by fast-paced increase in population. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) presented at the Oceans conference in Lisbon Wednesday the latest report on the fisheries sector and outlined a relatively optimistic scinario.
"The bigger fish stocks are better managed and improving their sustainability very obviously over the last decade, while the smallest stocks in more isolated places, perhaps with no management systems in place, they are deteriorating, Manuel Barange the director of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Division at FAO, said. So we have to make sure that 100% of stocks of fish stocks in lakes, rivers and oceans are under management because we know that management works. But this is a big ask."
Margaret Nakato, Katosi Women Development Trust Uganda, explained such an ambition was more difficult to achieve in less wealthy countries in which fisheries operate are on a smaller scale: "Any sustainability agenda has to take into consideration and has to put small scale fishing communities at the centre of conservation. And it needs to take into consideration the social, cultural and economic components of these fishing communities so that our measures are effective. But also we can share the equitable benefits from this sustaining these resources."
The UN believes that "The growth of fisheries and aquaculture is vital to ending global hunger and malnutrition, but greater regulation and transformation are needed in the sector so that resources are not depleted in the oceans", Xavier De Lagausie.
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