2022 was designated as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022) by the United Nations. IYAFA 2022 seeks to draw attention to the importance of small-scale fishers, fish growers, and fish workers to nutrition, food security, the eradication of poverty, and the sustainable use of natural resources. In order to increase worldwide knowledge and support for them, it is crucial for fishers to be involved in directing the conversation and highlighting the issues that are significant to them and their way of life.
IYAFA 2022 intends to improve science-policy interaction, empower stakeholders to take action, and create new and deepen existing partnerships. It also wants to increase awareness of the importance of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture. As we enter the final decade of action to realize the 2030 Agenda, IYAFA 2022 can also serve as a springboard for putting into practice the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and related documents, such as the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication. The two observances will support one another by raising awareness of small-scale artisanal fishermen, fish growers, and fish workers. It also comes under the UN Decade of Family Farming.
What Exactly Is Artisanal Fishing?
Artisanal refers to things made by skilled workers as opposed to mass-produced goods and meaning "crafted by hand." Small fisheries, such as a family who makes a living by catching and selling fish, are referred to as artisanal fisheries. It can also refer to small and medium-sized firms that engage in the capture, farming, or aquaculture of fish and other marine life.
According to the UN, traditional fisheries are those that “Traditional fisheries involving fishing households, using relatively small amount of capital and energy, relatively small fishing vessels (if any), making short fishing trips, close to shore, mainly for local consumption.”
Overfishing Is an International Issue
According to a 2016 UN assessment titled "The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture," nearly one-third (31.4%) of the world's fish stocks are overfished.
The primary causes include fishing that is illegal, unreported, and uncontrolled. This poses a hazard to fish stock decline and the destruction of marine habitats and ecosystems. Future food security cannot be assured without sustainable fishing, particularly in emerging nations.