Today a panel was convened to discuss the importance of developing and managing fisheries in achieving a successful Post-2015 Development Agenda. H.E. Mr. Sveinsson opened the dialogue by highlighting the four main areas of emphasis for the world’s living marine resources. These areas include protecting the marine environment from pollution and other environmental concerns, responsibly managing fisheries through the elimination of subsidies and illegal fishing, increasing economic benefits to decrease poverty, and supporting capacity building in less developed countries to allow for better resource management.
Dr. Tómasson continued the panel by highlighting the importance of fisheries, focusing on their role in economic development, food security, and a healthy diet. About 10-12% of the world’s population depends on fisheries, aquaculture, and post-harvest production for their livelihoods. Furthermore, fish account for 30% of animal protein in the human diet, and also provide important nutritional components. Yet, many people in fishing communities suffer from malnutrition and poor health. Expounding these concerns, in last 30 years the number fishermen have more than tripled. This, coupled with an improvement in fishing technology, has led to the exploitation and unsustainable use of the marine capital. However, with improved management and better handling and processing of fish, fisheries have the potential to address these concerns- becoming a foundation for human well-being and economic growth.
Dr. Tómasson proceeded by turning his focus to the United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme and its importance in helping achieve sustainable use of fisheries. The Post-Graduates enrolled in this six-month program are trained in enhancing institutional and individual capacities to better support the sustainable use of living aquatic resources. These students, in tandem with supporting partners who provide global research based capacity building, are vital in providing the leadership necessary to increase the sustainability of fisheries all over the world.
Meeting Title: FISHING FOR DEVELOPMENT: How the Sustainable Use of Living Marine Resources Can Impact The Post-2015 Development Agenda
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs; Dr. Tumi Tómasson, Director of United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme; H.E. Ms. Gréta Gunnarsdóttir, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations
Location: United Nations HQ, ECOSOC Chamber
Date: 7 July 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Zachary Halliday
Edited By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan