Summit supports sustainable seafood

By

Chris Dove, SeafoodSource.com contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain

Published on
November 18, 2009

Officials at the World Summit on Food Security in Rome early this week pledged to back sustainable fisheries and aquaculture as part of its pursuit to end hunger and ensure food security worldwide.

Organized by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, officials concluded the summit on Wednesday by vowing to “implement sustainable practices, including responsible fisheries and aquaculture, improved resource use, protection of the environment, conservation of the natural resource base, enhanced use of ecosystem services and sustainable use of land and water.”

In its 2006 report “Fish for food, livelihood and trade,” the FAO deemed seafood “an excellent source of animal protein and a wide range of essential nutrients, contributing to food security in many regions.”

Seafood consumption is expected to increase to 20 kilograms per capita by 2030, according to the FAO. “If overall production is to keep pace with an expanding world population, and given the strong likelihood that capture fisheries will remain stagnant, future growth will have to come from aquaculture.”

Addressing the summit on Monday, Elena Espinosa, Spain’s minister for agriculture and marine affairs, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Costa Rican government to collaborate on fishing and aquaculture initiatives promoting technological exchange through training programs; assistance in the investigation, development and promotion of commercial seafood production; an aquatic land registry; sustainable environmental management; and responsible fishing.

This support brings Spain’s total contribution under the UN’s Special Program for Food Security in Central America and Africa to EUR 34.5 million (USD 51.3 million) this year.

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