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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.



Fishing for a better future in Nigeria

In Nigeria, aquaculture brings new opportunities to rural youth and helps to reduce the country’s unemployment rate.




Coastal Community Development Project

Papua New Guinea

Artisanal Fisheries Project


Fisheries, Coastal Resources and Livelihood Project (FishCORAL)


Related news

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Building resilience, empowering communities: new fisheries project set to transform lives in Mozambique

maart 2024 - NEWS

Today marks a significant step towards a brighter future for Mozambique's artisanal fisheries sector. A new project that aims to transform the livelihoods of 90,000 artisanal fishers in five coastal provinces in the country has been endorsed with the signing of a US$63 million financing agreement between IFAD and the Government of Mozambique.

IFAD-funded project to protect the environment in Haiti by improving smallholder farmers' and artisanal fishermen's livelihoods

april 2022 - NEWS

IFAD and the Government of Haiti signed a financing agreement today for the implementation of the Inclusive Blue Economy Project (I-BE). The project will help preserve the Three Bay Protected Area by providing economic opportunities to smallholder famers and artisanal fishermen living in the country’s north-eastern region.

Norway commits funds to IFAD to lift aquaculture communities out of poverty and lower malnutrition in Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania

december 2021 - NEWS

As more people spiral into hunger and poverty due to pandemic restrictions, climate change and conflicts, the Norwegian Agency of Development Cooperation (NORAD) has committed NOK 45 million (US$5 million) to increase the incomes and build the resilience of small aquaculture farmers in Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania, IFAD announced today.

Related publications

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Best management practices guidelines for small-scale tilapia cage aquaculture in Ghana and Nigeria

april 2023

This technical manual and the accompanying brief were compiled for the Promoting Sustainable Cage Aquaculture in West Africa (ProSCAWA) project, undertaken in Nigeria and Ghana from 2020 to 2023.

Good practices in fish nutrition and feeding

september 2021

This manual of good practices in fish nutrition and feeding in the specific context of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was produced to build the capacities of fish farmers and extension services, and promote other aquaculture technologies and manuals of good aquaculture practices developed by WorldFish.

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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Solar-powered fridges aid COVID recovery in Djibouti

december 2021 - VIDEO

This year’s COVID-19 lockdowns cut off Djibouti’s fishing community from their markets. But with no way to store fish in the searing heat, many fishers were forced to throw their catch away. Now, thanks to some solar-powered fridges, they’re back on their feet and trading with new customers.

A glimpse into the Pacific food systems

september 2021 - VIDEO

Discover the specificities of food systems in the Pacific region, why they are particularly fragile, and the role of the island communities in protecting them.

Improving the livelihoods of artisanal fishers and their communities along Mozambique’s coastline

juni 2020 - VIDEO

The IFAD-supported Artisanal Fisheries Promotion Project (ProPESCA) was implemented to improve the livelihoods of artisanal fishers and their communities living along Mozambique’s coastline.