A fisherman on Lake Iranduba in Brazil’s Amazon region.
Photo: Andy Eames/AP/Scanpix
Sida supports efforts to create sustainable fishing in oceans, lakes and rivers. Sustainable fisheries will both help to secure people's ability to acquire nutritious food and be a secure source of income.
Ensuring sustainable marine environments is one of the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development (Goal 14). To manage and protect the environment along the coast, stop overfishing and ensure that small-scale fishers have access to fishing waters and markets are some of the milestones that the world has committed itself to achieving.
Traditionally, people have mainly fished wild fish. With technology development, increased economic growth and increasing demand for fish, this has changed and 2014 was the first year that the volume of farmed fish was bigger than traditional fishing. Protein from both wild and farmed fish have a much smaller carbon footprint than many other sources of protein and is an attractive alternative to meat.
Unfortunately, decades of increased industrial fishing and illegal fishing has contributed to the depletion of fish in the oceans and many fish stocks around the world are now threatened. This is not just a threat to the ecological system, but also increases the vulnerability of the world's poor who depend on fishing. Overfishing also occurs in lakes and rivers, but here it is mainly climate change, environmental degradation and the use of water for hydroelectric power and irrigation that creates problems.
Much of the world's population is directly dependent on fishing for their survival. In the world's least developed countries, even small quantities of fish have a major positive impact on human nutrition. This is based mainly on fish consumption of wild and farmed fish from local lakes and rivers. For many people fishing is the only source of income. For Sida, it is important to help fishing communities to continue with local fisheries in a sustainable manner.
Sida's support to sustainable fishing
Sida's direct assistance to fishing amounts to one per cent of the total support to the agriculture and food security. Support for the development of fishing can also be included in other activities with a focus on environment and climate, market development or people's ability to recover from or resisting various crises or disasters.
Sida's support to sustainable fishing covers several different levels and with a variety of actors, such as the United Nations food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP.
At the UN Ocean Conference in 2017, Sweden increased its support to international efforts to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. The support aims at strengthening capacity in developing countries to enable them to enforce the international Port State Measures Agreement that involves an increased control of vessels and catch in port.
Support to regional organisations such as the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) and Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) helps to gather and coordinate academic knowledge from the region and use it as a basis for fisheries policy. The program also helps to increase marine knowledge by supporting local scientists.
The Swedish support also includes projects that enable local fishing communities to use their fishing waters securely by ensuring that people have the right to land and water in the community in which they live, and to support the training and development of local fishing communities.