The United Nations General Council has resolved to commemorate 2022 as the International Year of Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022).

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) will take the lead in celebrating IYAFA 2022. It is an opportunity to highlight the importance of small-scale artisanal fisheries for our food systems, livelihoods, culture and the environment.

Small-scale fishers, and fish workers are often overlooked both locally and globally.

This Year will acknowledge the millions of small-scale fishers and their role in providing healthy and nutritious food to billions of people as well as contributing to achieve Zero Hunger.

What we can expect from IYAFA 2022 is to “raise awareness on the role of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture, strengthen science-policy interaction, empower stakeholders to take action, and to build new and strengthen existing partnerships”.

To achieve these objectives IYAFA 2022 has set out a Global Action Plan (GAP). The plan aims to build global momentum to enhance the support required to bring small-scale artisanal fisheries and aquaculture to the forefront of societal attention.

This is a ground-breaking opportunity for the small-scale fishing sector. The Year will focus world attention on the role that all small-scale fisherfolk play in food security and nutrition, poverty eradication and sustainable natural resource use.

It is a chance for fishers to become more widely acknowledged, respected and to change the discourse around small-scale fishers into a more informed and positive one.

Naseegh Jaffer, Director of Masifundise, said that “we must also use IYAFA 2022 as a time to monitor progress on the implementation of the international Small-Scale Fishing Guidelines that was adopted in 2014”

IYAFA2022 will launch in November this year and has already made provisions to prepare for the upcoming year on their website. Small-scale fishing organisations are encouraged to participate in any way possible and start planning for a very important year ahead.

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