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UN teams with American Red Cross to restore fisheries in tsunami-devastated areas

UN teams with American Red Cross to restore fisheries in tsunami-devastated areas

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced today that it has partnered with the American Red Cross to help fishing communities in Indonesia’s Aceh Province that were heavily impacted by the 2004 tsunami.

The three-year project will assist in promoting the responsible and sustainable management of fisheries and aquaculture that coastal communities rely on for food and employment. Enhanced supervision of these sectors is crucial to prevent overfishing and prevent any further damage to ecosystems still recovering from the tsunami, FAO said.

Focusing on long-term planning, good management practices and improved handling and marketing practices, the scheme will target problems that existed prior to the devastating tsunami but were exacerbated by the disaster and its aftermath.

“These capacity-building measures seek to foster sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture in Aceh after the tsunami,” noted Ichiro Nomura, FAO’s Assistant Director-General of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department.

FAO will provide technical and planning help, as well as hold training sessions and will lead the project’s implementation, while the American Red Cross will foot the $7.5 million bill.

Roughly 750 Indonesian Government officials at the national, provincial and local levels will participate in the scheme, along with 4,000 people in fishing communities. An additional 770,000 others will benefit indirectly through increased food supplies and employment opportunities.

“We are excited to be working in partnership with FAO on a project that will have a significant impact in restoring these communities,” said Gerald Anderson, Senior Director of the Tsunami Recovery Program for the American Red Cross. “Not only will the project provide people with essential needs – like food and income – but it will also help them to develop the capacity to manage fisheries for the long-term.”