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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.

Spotlight

Roots' interview on evaluation synthesis on fisheries

Fisheries and aquaculture are extremely relevant to IFAD's mandate, as fish and other sea products are essential for a balanced diet. 

Tags: FISHERIES

Projects

Indonesia

Coastal Community Development Project
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Papua New Guinea

Artisanal Fisheries Project
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Philippines

Fisheries, Coastal Resources and Livelihood Project (FishCORAL)
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Related news

Call for proposals: Small Fish Grant

November 2019 - NEWS
This call for proposals is to select a recipient or consortium of recipients to receive a three-year IFAD grant financing to implement the project: Promoting sustainable technologies and marketing strategies to increase incomes and reduce food losses in small fish systems for a total amount of up to US$2.5 million.

IFAD and partners invest US$ 30 million in Samoa to make small-scale farming and fishing more profitable and climate-proof

October 2019 - NEWS
IFAD and Samoa have signed a financing agreement to significantly increase agricultural production and incomes for 25,000 smallholder farmer and fisher families, and to help protect against natural disasters on Samoa’s Savai’i and Upolu islands.

Investing in the blue economy to accelerate sustainable development in Africa

May 2019 - NEWS
The President of IFAD, Gilbert F. Houngbo, will be in Maputo, Mozambique for the Growing Blue Conference where he will speak to the need for greater investment in sustainable development for rural people whose livelihoods depend on aquatic resources including small-scale fisheries, aquaculture and coastal environments.

Related publications

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

November 2019

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

Research Series Issue 40: Local-economy impacts of cash crop promotion

October 2019
This is the first study to quantify the general equilibrium impacts of introducing a new cash crop into a poor isolated economy, including impacts on environmentally sensitive fishing activities.

Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests - Implications for IFAD

February 2014
Following an inclusive consultation and negotiation process, which involved more than 70 countries, international organizations, and representatives of the civil society and the private sector, the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGs) were officially endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security on 11 May 2012. The VGs set out principles, technical recommendations and practices for improving the governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests. They promote secure tenure rights and equitable access to these resources as a means of eradicating hunger and poverty, supporting sustainable development and protecting the environment. They give recommendations to countries and to other key actors, who are strongly encouraged to adopt and use them on a voluntary basis.