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From catcher to counter: new FAO declaration good news for fishers - IUF/ITF

09 Feb 2021
Press Release

Joint statement from the IUF and the ITF on the adoption of the 2021 Declaration for Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture by the FAO’s Committee on Fisheries (COFI)

Global union federations the IUF[i] and the ITF[ii] welcome the adoption of the Declaration for Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture at the 34th Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations' (FAO) Committee on Fisheries (COFI), February 5, 2021.

In particular, we welcome the commitment from states to “Promote the attainment of safe, healthy and fair working conditions for all in the sector, support efforts to prevent and halt forced labour, facilitate access to social protection programmes for fishers and aquaculture producers and their communities, support measures to improve safety at sea, and work towards enhancing the standards of living for all in the sector, in cooperation with other relevant international organizations, including the International Labour Organization and the International Maritime Organization.”

We also welcome the recognition of the role of women in achieving food security and that COFI member stateshave a role to play in ensuring “women’s empowerment by enhancing women’s full access to and equal opportunities in the fisheries and aquaculture sector through gender-based policies, taking effective action against discrimination and abuse in the workplace, facilitating women’s access to education and training…and providing equal opportunities at all levels, including for leadership and decision making, and by combating systemic gender inequalities that disadvantage women.”

The Declaration also recognises the progress of coordinated measures by states in the protection of ocean environments and preservation of bio resources, achieved since the adoption of the Code of Conduct on Responsible Fisheries in 1995.


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[i]  The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF) is a global union federation of trade unions with members in a variety of industries, including fish and seafood farming, processing, service and distribution.

[ii] The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) is a democratic global union federation of transport workers' trade unions, representing a combined membership of 19.7 million workers in all industrial transport sectors, including fisheries.