World Fisheries Day: A time to remember, a Time to Act
“Save the Ocean, Save the Nation”
November 21, 2017: Fishing is recognized as one of the most -risky professions in the world with hundreds of lives lost at sea every year and many more affected by the implied occupational hazards in this profession. Fisheries and aquaculture employ more than 43.5 million individuals worldwide. Fish provide more than 25% of the world dietary protein.
Our oceans and their resources are under enormous pressure now, more than ever before. A report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)indicates that 30% of the world’s fisheries stocks are currently being over-exploited, depleted or are recovering from depletion. This is caused by a number of factors such as over fishing, by-catch of species unintentionally caught in fishing gears, trawling, illegal fishing methods, climate change and pollution. As we reach a critical point, it is necessary to practice responsible sustainable fishing and respect our ocean so that coastal communities that are relying on fishing for their subsistence and economy will be safeguarded.
World Fisheries Day is celebrated on the 21st of November every year, since 1998. It aims to highlight the importance of conserving the ocean and marine life that provides food and employment opportunities for millions of people. It is an appropriate opportunity for us to reflect on fishing, fishers, status of the oceans, marine life, especially its fish stocks. By organizing and participating in events linked to the World Fisheries Day and discussing the issues is the one of ways in which we can show our support and solidarity to fishers and fisheries development.
MSSRF has long been involved in fisheries resource management for improving the livelihood of coastal communities. MSSRF’s Fish for All Research and Training Centre in Poompuhar, Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, India is mainly focusing on research and interventions to promote sustainable fisheries and to strengthen livelihoods of fishing communities. The Centre has trained more than 12000 small-scale fishers on sustainable fishing and demonstrated various sustainable fishing practices along the Tamil Nadu coast.
On 21st November 2017, the day dedicated to the people who depend on fisheries for their livelihoods, Fish for All Centre and NETFISH will organize a consultative meeting on sustainable fisheries to discuss and debate on the importance of marine fisheries and the need for collective action for conservation with the focus theme of “Save the Ocean, Save the Nation”..The event aims to
promote education on sustainable fisheries and its importance
focus on the value of fisheries particularly marine fisheries to the economic, environmental and social well being of our country
highlight how local fish and seafood can be part of healthy lifestyles and sustainable communities
The event is open for fishers and those who are interested in sustainable fishery techniques. So let us join the commemoration event on World Fisheries Day at Fish for All Centre, Poompuhar.
Let us remember, celebrate and protect the world of fisheries. Let us thereby protect our world and our life, not just this day but every day of the year.
– Written by Dr Velvizhi S, Principal Scientist and Head, Fish for All Centre, Poompuhar, MSSRF
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.