Global perspective Human stories

UN-backed network linking global developing countries' fisheries reaches 25-year mark

UN-backed network linking global developing countries' fisheries reaches 25-year mark

The FishInfoNetwork (FIN), a United Nations-organized network linking fisheries in developing countries, has reached its 25-year mark.

Set up by the UN Food and Agriculture Agency (FAO), the programme connects independent intergovernmental organizations to boost post-harvest handling and marketing of fish.

The idea was to establish a network that could provide a multiplier effect and help FAO more comprehensively address these issues on the ground," said Lahsen Ababouch of FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture Department.

FIN works at the regional level in the developing world to promote fish trade, supply up-to-date information on markets and prices, bring buyers and sellers together and provide training in key areas such as processing technology and food safety issues.

Currently, the netk, which covers 87 developing nations, comprises seven independent centres each focusing on a region, and these facilities are coordinated by Globafish, based at FAO's Rome headquarters.

"Each centre functions as a locus of expertise in the post-harvest sector of fisheries and aquaculture, including trade and marketing, implementing demand-driving activities targeted to the specific needs of the region where it is located," Mr. Ababouch noted.

Fisheries and aquaculture are crucial to the economies of many developing countries, with net earnings from the fish trade in these nations totaling more than $20 billion annually, providing employment and income to millions of people.

Globally, net earnings (exports minus imports) by developing countries from the fish trade totals over $20 billion per year. This provides employment and income to millions of people and is a source of government revenue that can be used for social services, all of which bolster food security and help improve family nutrition.