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The 2022 edition of The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture coincides with the launch of the Decade of Action to deliver the Global Goals

MSC Press Release: Blue transformation requires setting aside national interests

Friday, July 01, 2022, 06:00 (GMT + 9)

The strategic State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 report published yesterday by the United Nations shows continued pressure on the world's fish stocks.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), responsible for the globally recognized MSC Blue Seal for certified sustainable seafood, welcomes the aforementioned report for an urgent blue transformation including an end to overfishing.

Globally, the percentage of the world's fish stocks that are overfished has increased from 10% of wild fish stocks in the 1970s to 34.2% in 2017 and 35.4% in 2019. However, the report shows that 82.5% of the volume of fish arriving at ports is now fished sustainably: an increase of 3.8% between 2017 and 2019. According to the report, this positive trend reflects improvements in the sustainability of larger and higher volume fisheries.

Rupert Howes, executive director of the Marine Stewardship Council, says:

“The report makes clear the critical role that sustainable fisheries management plays in securing the future of the world's fish stocks. It is very encouraging that 82.5% of the volume of fish arriving at ports is caught sustainably, an increase of nearly 4% between 2017 and 2019. This increase is testament to the hard work of fishermen and all those who work to make sustainable fishing a reality in the world.

“However, the continued rise of fish stocks to biologically unsustainable levels is a sobering reminder of the stakes and the need for more action, faster and at scale, to save our unique and valuable fishery resources. The livelihoods and food security of many millions of people around the world depend on this action.

“Fish stocks are the last low-carbon, renewable food resource. When managed sustainably, they are more productive in the long term and sustainable fisheries should be at the heart of a "blue food revolution" for resilient food systems for the future.”

“But this report shows that if that vision becomes a reality, we must renew our approach to ending overfishing. This is a collective effort: scientists, fisheries, NGOs and the private sector must work together. In particular, we need governments to make greater efforts. They must look beyond national self-interest and act to secure the long-term future of this shared resource. By prioritizing this, we can secure our fish stocks for future generations and end overfishing.”

The report acknowledges the role of certification schemes such as the one overseen by the MSC in contributing to this effort. This week at the United Nations Conference on the Oceans, the MSC announced an ambitious commitment to work towards one-third of the world's wild marine catches being certified under the MSC Fisheries Standard or participating in its sustainable fishing programme. by 2030.




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