The “blue economy” is critical to food security and the fight against poverty
The fisheries and aquaculture sector is a vital source of livelihoods, nutritious food and economic opportunities, and has a key role to play in meeting one of the world’s greatest challenges: feeding a population set to rise to 9.6 billion people by 2050. Fisheries and aquaculture play a significant role in eliminating hunger, promoting health and reducing poverty. Never before have people consumed so much fish or depended so greatly on the sector for their well-being. Fish is extremely nutritious – a vital source of protein and essential nutrients, especially for the poor. But fisheries and aquaculture is a source not just of health but also of wealth. Employment in the sector has grown faster than the world’s population. Small-scale fisheries (marine and inland) employ about 90% of those involved in fisheries. Globally, the market value of marine and coastal resources and industries is estimated at $3 trillion per year or about 5% of global GDP.
Fish continues to be one of the most-traded food commodities worldwide. It is especially important for developing countries, sometimes worth half the total value of their traded commodities. Oceans, seas, coastal areas and the associated blue economy are critical to global and national development, food security and the fight against hunger and poverty. They are both engines for economic growth and sources of food and jobs. However, overfishing, pollution and unsustainable coastal development are contributing to irreversible damage to habitats, ecological functions and biodiversity. Climate change and ocean acidification are compounding such impacts at a time when the rising global population requires more fish as food, and as coastal areas are becoming home to a growing percentage of the world’s population.
Sustainable Fisheries Press Brief