Fish continues to be one of the most-traded food commodities worldwide, and it is especially important for developing countries, sometimes worth half the total value of their traded commodities. The FAO estimates that 40% of the world’s global catch is caught by small-scale artisanal fishers, with 492 million people depending on these fisheries for their livelihoods.
Oceans, seas, coastal areas and the associated blue economy are critical to global and national development, food security and the fight against hunger and poverty. They are both engines for economic growth and sources of food and jobs. However, overfishing, pollution and unsustainable coastal development are contributing to irreversible damage to habitats, ecological functions, and biodiversity. Climate change and ocean acidification are compounding such impacts at a time when the rising global population requires more fish as food, and as coastal areas are becoming home to a growing percentage of the world’s population. Due to their position as the interface between land and sea, coastal communities are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as extreme weather events, and more needs to be done to improve the climate resilience of these areas.