Knowledge for better food systems

Briefing paper IIED: Fisheries and the post-2015 development agenda

In this briefing paper by IIED, Essam Yassin Mohammed argues that sustainable fisheries must be central to the new global development goals (SDGs) of 2015. This could either be realised by providing goals and targets for the fisheries themselves in the agenda — or by making them part of a broader set of goals that focus on food security and livelihoods.

Marine ecosystems support a diversity of living resources that sustain the livelihoods of millions of people. But world fish stocks are running dangerously low. If current trends continue, we are likely to see 'fishless oceans' by 2050 and millions of livelihoods lost. 

The paper describes in detail the following ten things policymakers can do to achieve this vision:

  1. Restore depleted or over-exploited fish stocks
  2. Improve fishery catch statistics
  3. Mainstream fisheries in national development plans
  4. Understand climate change impacts on fisheries
  5. Create more safe havens for threatened fish species
  6. Eliminate harmful subsidies
  7. Tackle illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing
  8. Eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers to fish trade
  9. Govern the high seas effectively
  10. Clearly define use rights of coastal communities.


Read the briefing paper here and for a blogpost by the author on the IIED website, click here.

Read more about sustainable fisheries here.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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