World Fisheries Day: Fisher-folk of the world unite

Today, 21 November, is World Fisheries Day, an annual event organized by fisher-folk communities around the world to draw attention to the necessity of changing the way global fish stocks are managed and promoting healthy maritime ecosystems.

Fishing communities worldwide are celebrating the event by holding rallies, conferences, workshops, public meetings, cultural programs and concerts to stress the urgency of solving the crisis caused by overfishing and mechanization and ensure the future of the world’s fisheries.

According to a recent report released by the United Nations, more than two-thirds of the world’s fisheries have been over-fished or fully harvested, while more than one third are currently in a state of decline. Around 80 million tons of fish and seafood are captured globally each year, with ocean species accounting for almost three quarters of this amount.

Fisheries represent a large percentage of the economies of fishing nations, employing and feeding millions of people worldwide. In recent years, however, it has become necessary to crack down on increasingly unsustainable fishing methods.

The causes of the crisis are diverse. They range from the loss of essential fish habitats, bottom trawling and unsustainable fishing methods, to global issues such as climate change and pollution.

Last month, The United Nations General Assembly called on all nations to sign on to the Law of the Sea Convention, which establishes jurisdiction over national and international waters and promotes sustainable fishing practices. So far, 158 countries, including the European Community, have signed on to the protocol.

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