GFAR blog

The talk about small-scale fisheries. Or not.


“If you do not have healthy fishing communities, you will not have healthy fish consumers” – Naseegh Jaffer, General Secretary of World Forum of Fisher Peoples(WFFP)

Benedetta Merlo is the Focal Point for Fisheries at theInternational Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty(IPC), an alliance platform for civil society organisations. As we chat over lunch, I can hardly fit in a question as she presents fact after fact about why small-scale fisheries are important – and threatened.

I can’t disagree with her enthusiasm – I am fascinated about this topic after attending a Committee on World Food Security (CFS) side event on human rights, food security and small-scale fisheries.

Not all food comes from dry land.

When we think about food security, images of farmers and land often come to mind. However, fisheries are an extremely important part of our food system. But even at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), they are decidedly less talked about than land-based sectors.

So why should we care about fisheries?

I know – figures bore me too, but these are pretty astounding:

  • The fisheries supply chain employs 58 million people.
  • More than 800 million people depend on fisheries worldwide.
  • 90% of the 140 million people involved in fisheries at the global level are small-scale fisher folk, and supply over 60% fish destined to direct human consumption.

Read the full post on the CFS blog here.


Blogpost by Isabella Coin, #CFS43 Social Reporter – isa.coin(at)                 

Photo: Stilts fishermen near Unawatuna, Sri Lanka, courtesy: Bernard Gagnon on Flickr

This post is part of the live coverage during the 43rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), a project GFAR is running in collaboration with CFS. This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only.

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