The importance of fisheries and aquaculture to development

Small-scale fisheries and aquaculture make critical contributions to development in the areas of employment, with over 41 million people worldwide, the vast majority of whom live in developing countries, working in fish production; food security and nutrition, with fish constituting an important source of nutrients for the poor and often being the cheapest form of animal protein; and trade, with a third of fishery commodity production in developing countries destined for export.

Trade matters in the fight against poverty: narratives, perceptions, and (lack of) evidence in the case of fish trade in Africa

Two opposing views exist in the literature on the potential role that international fish trade plays in economic development. While some claim that fish trade has a pro-poor effect, others denounce the negative effect of fish export on local populations’ food security and doubt its contributions to the macro-economy. In this paper, we explore this debate in sub-Saharan Africa. Our analysis did not find any evidence of direct negative impact of fish trade on food security; neither did it find evidence that international fish trade generates positive, pro-poor outcomes.

Blue harvest: inland fisheries as an ecosystem service

Global food production has increased greatly in recent years and rural livelihoods are much improved in many regions. Yet, despite this clear progress rural poverty and food insecurity remain deeply entrenched in many areas, especially in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In response the international community has renewed calls for increased commitment to meeting the needs of the world's poor.

Aquaculture and food security in Solomon Islands

Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) are some of the most vulnerable nations to climate change. Growing populations, combined with climate change and overfishing of inshore reef fish, will compound food security problems arising from an increasing gap between fish demand and supply. Along with some other PICTs, Solomon Islands recognises the need for new sources of fish to meet future food security requirements. Options include fish imports, increasing access to offshore tuna fisheries such as with inshore fish aggregating devices, and aquaculture development.

Immanent and interventionist inland Asian aquaculture development and its outcomes

Aquaculture is equated with the reduction of poverty by intergovernmental agencies such as the FAO, which advocate the promotion of small-scale aquaculture through project-based interventions. There is a lack of convincing empirical evidence to support the efficacy of this type of intervention, however. Meanwhile, commercial cultured freshwater fish production has increased hugely throughout Asia, despite limited direct donor or government support. Its impact with respect to poverty also remains ambiguous, however.

Fish supply and demand scenarios in Cambodia and perspectives on the future role of aquaculture

Fish is vital to the well-being and livelihoods to millions of people in the Lower Mekong Basin, many of whom are poor, relying on fish as a major source of animal protein, sometimes the only source. The supply of ‘free’ wild fish is under threat from overfishing, climate change, habitat modification and hydro power development which could mean less fish supplied from natural sources yet at the same time more demand. Aquaculture - farming of fish and other aquatic animals - is becoming increasingly more important in supplying fish to people in the region.

Implementing resilience management: lessons from fishing communities in the Niger basin

Small inland fisheries are important to the livelihoods of the poor in Africa, contributing both food security and income to millions of households living near freshwater lakes, reservoirs, rivers and floodplains. These inland fisheries have complex exploitation systems with large numbers of fishers operating in the informal sector. These systems are highly vulnerable to external disturbance, making them extremely difficult to assess and manage.

Fish production in refugee camps and settlements: lessons from Zambia

Conflict, persecution and violence affect millions of people worldwide, forcing them to uproot their lives. The attention of the international community is focused on meeting the basic needs of refugee populations, but recently this support has been extended to include the host countries (many of which are Food Deficit Least Developed Countries) in order to strengthen their capacity to provide food, goods and services to refugee populations.

The contribution of fish intake, aquaculture, and small-scale fisheries to improving nutrition: A literature review

Much of fish consumed by the poor are caught by household members and traded in local markets. These fish are rarely or poorly included in national statistics, and it is therefore difficult to estimate precisely the real contribution of fish to the rural poor households. This report is the first global overview of the role played by fish in improving nutrition. Fish consumption patterns of the poor, the nutritional value of fish, and small-scale fisheries and aquaculture activities are considered. It also highlights the gap in knowledge where more research is needed.

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