Photo courtesy of NAMA.
Fisheries provide food and livelihoods to 800 million people worldwide. Unfortunately, they are being overfished due to industrial-scale fishing fleets, water is becoming severely polluted due to aquaculture and agriculture, and marine resources are being appropriated from small-scale fisheries by powerful food and fish industry giants in a move known as “ocean-grabbing.” A just fishery is an essential part of a secure food system in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally appropriate, nutritionally sound diet through an economically and environmentally sustainable food system that promotes community self-reliance and social justice.
Today, November 21, marks the annual World Fisheries Day, a day declared in 1998 to recognize the importance of conservation of the world’s oceans and raise awareness of the right of all small-scale fishers and fishing communities to have democratic control over their natural resources. The commemorative day is celebrated by fishing communities and environmental groups worldwide, through rallies, workshops, public meetings, cultural programs, demonstrations and more.
Fishermen in Elmina, Ghana. Photo by Katrina Moore.
WhyHunger is commemorating World Fisheries Day by launching a brand-new Food Security Learning Center topic that explores the challenges and stories of small-scale fishers. The topic, Family and Small-Scale Fisheries, digs into the trouble with corporate consolidation and the environmental and social problems with industrial fishing and aquaculture, and tells the stories of global fishermen and women fighting for access to their natural resources.
Join us in supporting small-scale fisheries worldwide on World Fisheries Day and beyond by reading and sharing this new resource. For other ways to get involved, check out the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance’s Who Fishes Matters campaign, the programs of the World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers and the resources at the World Forum of Fisher Peoples website.
World Fisheries Day highlights the critical importance of the human right to natural resources. Read more on the new Food Security Learning Center topic Family and Small-Scale Fisheries.