Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Fish, Forks and Finance: Read, Listen, Learn More

We know that by improving fisheries management and conserving critical habitats we can make coastal communities and individual fishers' livelihoods more productive and resilient to climate change. Therefore, the question is not if wild fisheries should be a priority, but how they should be invested in to restore and enhance their natural productivity. After all, the evidence is clear: global food security will not be achieved without well-managed wild fisheries.

As Rob Bertram of USAID explained, “Fish are the world's most widely traded and most valuable food products. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the export value of fish from developing countries is greater than the export value of rice, tea, bananas, sugar and cocoa combined. [This simple fact exemplifies] how critical fish are as a source of income for many developing countries at the national economic level.”

In developing countries, fish also exemplify a main source of protein that contributes to health and nutrition outcomes. This is true particularly for small-scale fishers who provide for local, mostly low-income communities and their economies. As Rob further noted, in several African and Asian countries where USAID works, fish provide more than half of that animal protein supply. The FAO reports that nearly three billion people rely on fish for a substantial part of their protein intake. It is also particularly important for pregnant mothers.

However, as Brett Jenks of Rare explained, “It's fair to say that wild fish stocks are crashing all around the world due, in great part, to poor management.” These poor management approaches not only affect nutrition and livelihoods but also biodiversity and conservation. Data from 5,000 of the world's roughly 17,000 fisheries show that “business as usual” management will push global fish stocks downparticularly among small-scale fisherieswhile alternative management practices, such as rights-based approaches, will not.

To learn more about how USAID, its Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project, and Rare are using rights-based approaches to facilitate sustainable wild fisheries for food security, watch the webinar recording or read the webinar transcript.

Do you have a story of how your organization is alleviating pressure on wild fisheries? Submit it to agrilinks@agrilinks.org. We want to hear from you so that good practices can be shared across development efforts.