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Top Fisheries Report Mentions Forthcoming Study by Duke, Others

John Virdin Portrait

The latest edition of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) report—the bi-annual flagship publication of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department—was released today. Circulated for the first time at the Committee on Fisheries (COFI), a meeting of the world's top fisheries officials, it highlights the importance of fishing and fish farming to people's livelihoods and discusses a 2020 study by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions' John Virdin, Nicholas School of the Environment’s Xavier Basurto, and partners at The WorldFish Center, and the FAO. It was discussed at a COFI side event organized by the group.

The forthcoming 2020 study, which is featured in a sidebar on page 140 of the SOFIA report is expected to be “the most extensive compilation to date of information available on the diverse contributions of small-scale fisheries to communities and countries around the world.” It aims to revisit and build on a 2012 study The Hidden Harvests: The Global Contribution of Capture Fisheries by FAO, the World Bank, and WorldFish—a first attempt to synthesize information on the diverse and under-reported livelihood and economic contributions of capture fisheries globally. Since the publication of the 2012 study, additional regional and global data sets have become available, including household surveys and census information, nutritional information on fish species, consumption among coastal indigenous peoples, and location-based catch estimates.

“Worldwide estimates will be generated to the extent possible using a mixed-methods approach, with data drawn from both the available global datasets and the national case studies. The study may also provide a framework for continual monitoring of the socio-economic contributions from small-scale fisheries, so that this information will remain available to policymakers and support the tracking of progress in the implementation of the SSF Guidelines,” the SOFIA sidebar says of the forthcoming 2020 study.

The forthcoming report will be made public in July 2020 at the United Nations Committee on Fisheries meeting.

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Members of the media interested in speaking with John Virdin should contact Erin McKenzie, erin.mckenzie@duke.edu or 919.613.3652.