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Introduction
Marine fisheries are a key source of economic and food security, providing livelihoods for the 300 million people involved in the sector, and helping meet the nutritional needs of the 3 billion people who rely on fish as an important source of animal protein, essential micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids. Estimates suggest that small-scale fishers and related workers comprise over 90 percent of people employed globally in capture fisheries and related activities. Poor fisheries management results in declines in fish stocks, bycatch species and ecosystem effects, as well as in foregone revenues of roughly US$80 billion annually, highlighting the importance of improving the sustainability of this sector.

Sustainable management of fisheries was one of the most common activities registered in the voluntary commitments. More than 480 commitments touch on fisheries either as a single goal or as part of a suite of activities aimed at improving environmental sustainability, livelihoods and economies. These activities include commitments to sustainable seafood, to implementation of the Port State Measures Agreement and Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries, strengthening of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), and community empowerment and market access for small-scale fishers.

This Community of Ocean Action aims to support its members in implementing their voluntary commitments related to sustainable fisheries by exchanging progress reports, experiences, lessons learned and good practices.
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  • Mr. Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Mr. Árni M Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General for Fisheries and Aquaculture, FAO
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