Fisheries and Aquaculture provide food and work all over the world, especially in developing countries (Panorama, 2018). Fish products are also essential to food security, providing over 3 billion people almost 20 percent of their intake of animal protein. Many fisheries practices are unsustainable, however, due to overcapacity; illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries; and environmentally detrimental subsidies.
Wild fish stocks are of enormous importance to economic output, livelihoods and food security. If degraded fisheries are rebuilt and sustainably managed, they can make an even larger contribution. Fisheries contribute approximately US$274 billion to global GDP. The World Bank estimates that if fisheries were managed optimally they could deliver an additional $50 billion each year. Beyond the direct economic, social and food security benefits to be gained from rebuilding fisheries, the transition to sustainable management is likely to make marine ecosystems more resilient to external stresses, including those stemming from climate change and pollution. Fisheries are vital components of ecosystems, and healthy ecosystems are key to the continued productivity of fisheries (The Prince's Charities- ISU, 2012).
Relevance to SDGs
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 recognizes the role of marine and coastal ecosystems and the need to conserve and promote their sustainable use. SDG 14.4 states the need for regulation on overfishing and 14.6 suggests to eliminate subsidies contributing to illegal and unreported fishing.
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