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Responsible stewardship of the world’s fisheries for improved livelihoods

Fisheries and aquaculture support the livelihoods of nearly half a billion people across the world. Yet many of the world’s fisheries are at grave risk from human pressure including overexploitation, pollution and habitat change.

Climate change is warming the atmosphere and the oceans and causing changes in rainfall patterns. This affects the quality of the water that supports aquatic life, and increases the frequency of extreme weather events. 

Some inland lakes and water bodies are drying up, while, in other areas, destructive floods are becoming a regular occurrence. These events have an impact on the seasonal patterns of fish availability and fishing activities, and disrupt the livelihoods of coastal communities.

Wild fish stocks have been hit by overfishing, illegal and destructive fishing practices, and weak fisheries management. Meanwhile, aquaculture is expanding across the globe, providing opportunities for improved nutrition and poverty reduction. However, this also raises the challenge of ensuring sustainable economic, social and technical growth. 

High post-harvest losses and the rights of local communities to access fishery resources are additional concerns. In many cases, the poorest communities in the poorest countries are the most vulnerable.

From access to innovation

IFAD-supported projects secure tenure and access rights for fishing communities, and support the development of small-scale aquaculture production systems in marine, coastal and inland waters. 
Our partners help to develop efficient fish value chains, promote the use of products from community fisheries, and improve fishery management.

IFAD also supports tenure and access rights for coastal communities to fishery resources and helps interested communities to take up sustainable aquaculture. These programmes spur investment in innovative technologies, technical skills, input supply systems, and financial and extension services.

We also support the development of efficient value chains to minimize post-harvest losses, of particular benefit to the millions of rural women who dominate fish processing and marketing.

IFAD’s work with fisheries and aquaculture not only contributes to food and nutrition security but also to environmental protection, sustainable resource use, and biodiversity. 

We strive to strengthen the resilience and capacities of small-scale fishery communities in a regulated and environmentally sensitive manner.


Towards zero food waste in Indonesia’s fishing communities

Along Indonesia’s coastal communities, many small-scale fishers struggle to make a living. Indonesia is the world’s third largest producer of fish, but many of these communities have historically lacked access to the technology and resources they needed to preserve their catch until it reaches the markets, which are usually far from their rural coastal inlets.



Coastal Community Development Project
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Papua New Guinea

Artisanal Fisheries Project
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Fisheries, Coastal Resources and Livelihood Project (FishCORAL)
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Call for proposals: Small Fish Grant

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Related publications

The Fisheries and Aquaculture Advantage: Fostering food security and nutrition, increasing

November 2019

This report presents selected achievements and lessons from the growing portfolio of fisheries and aquaculture investments supported by IFAD.

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