Role of Seafood in global food Security

[dropcap]D[/dropcap]uring the 9th week of the fellowship programme the fellows attended the 15th meeting of the Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP): The role of Seafood in Global food security. All the panel presentations can be found on the links below: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/consultative_process/documents/List%20of%20panellists%20for%20the%2015th%20meeting%20of%20the%20ICP%20for%20website.pdf.
Fellows’ role was to observe the meeting structure together with its technical content and provide an overview of the meeting and discuss their learning in the following week.

The week sessions highlighted need to focus fisheries management on low‐cost and high‐nutrition small pelagic, empowerment of fishers via ecosystem‐scaled co- management & user rights, Improving value/supply chains for local fish products, called for reducing IUU fishing and transforming subsidies to positive incentives/investments. Throughout the week it was highlighted that the role of sea food to global food security in small scale fishing communities will largely depend on strong fisher communities, access and secures tenure rights, empowerment of women especially in post-harvest fisheries and access to credit and markets. Rights Based Management and Zone Based Management were also emphasized.

The ICP meetings were also complemented by side events. One of the side event attended by the fellows was on “Seafood in an Uncertain Ocean: The impact of climate change on global fisheries and food security”. The presentations of this side event can be found on the following link: http://www.nereusprogram.org/#!un2014/c9tn. This side event highlighted some interesting data on how ocean changes from climate change are altering the distribution, body size and abundance of marine species. It concluded that climate change is altering the structure and function of marine ecosystems in ways that have not been observed in the past. In addition, it was noted that empirical relationships that have been built on past observed relationships will become less useful for predicting future responses of small pelagic fisheries to future climate change.

Meeting with Dr. Awni Behnam
Dr. Awni Behnam, Honorary President, International Ocean Institute gave a talk to the fellows on his experiences in the development of the UNCLOS and UNCTAD,. UNCTAD is the United Nations body responsible for dealing with development issues, particularly international trade  the main driver of development. He highlighted UNCTAD role and functions and the contribution for the adoption of UNCLOS. UNCTAD is United Nations focal point for trade and development, and for interrelated issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development. Its objective is to assist developing countries, especially the least developed countries, and countries with economies in transition, to integrate beneficially into the global economy. It also seeks to help the international community promote a global partnership for development, increase coherence in global economic policy making, and assure development gains for all from trade, all of which is interconnected with the Oceans. Dr. Yoshitaka Ota who is specialized in policy and cultural aspects of fishing practices, including the customary economics, social organization also joined the fellows in the session with Dr Behnam. Dr Ota is going to be the supervisor of one of the fellows for the second phase. The fellows found the week very informative and inter-active with various different exposures on this topic and some fellows had opportunity to meet with their second phase supervisors.

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