News - Fisheries and Food Security

Policies that more strongly recognize the value of sustainable seafood as a source of nutrition, not just a source of livelihoods, could strengthen global food security and help take a big bite out of world hunger, a new analysis by an international team of experts shows.

Despite the huge potential of Africa’s small-scale fisheries to boost the region’s food security, ramp up nutritional levels, alleviate poverty, and enhance environmental conservation, decision makers across the continent have given the sector little attention—largely because of inadequate data to support its potential role in sustainable development.

A new partnership between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Duke University will build on ongoing research collaborations between the two to shed more light on the role that small-scale fisheries play in sustainable development. The agreement also opens the door for FAO and Duke to collaborate on additional areas of study, potentially including seafood markets, aquaculture, mangrove restoration and forests.

More than 300 experts from over 50 countries are contributing to the Illuminating Hidden Harvests (IHH) study, which will provide never-before-seen insights into global small-scale fisheries when the results are released in February 2021. Led by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Duke University, and WorldFish, the study will assess the contributions, imp

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University is pleased to announce Kathinka Fürst as a new faculty affiliate. Fürst holds a dual appointment as assistant adjunct professor of environmental policy at Duke Kunshan University (DKU) and serves as associate director of DKU’s Environmental Research Center

Small-scale fisheries are central to solving many problems in the oceans, such as overfishing or loss of natural habitats, as well as on land by addressing poverty and hunger in places where jobs and quality nutrition are limited, write John Virdin and Xavier Basurto.

Pacific Catalyst, a partnership of fishery management experts in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific (USP), today announced their official launch and described several projects they have underway. They also introduced their new website at

The Illuminating Hidden Harvests study will provide critical knowledge and information on small-scale fisheries globally, informing the way forward for sustainable development of the sector. 

A new blog post by John Virdin, Director of the Ocean and Coast Policy Program, in chinadialogue ocean explores the outcomes when poorer coastal African nations and island countries try to make money by selling access to their fish-abundant waters to companies from richer countries with large fishing fleets.

A group of educators and professionals led by Transform Aqorau recently announced the formation of Pacific Catalyst, a partnership designed to foster new policies and a fresh generation of leaders in the Pacific Island fisheries.