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South Korea: FAO D-G stresses importance of sustainable management of marine ecosystems
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

The three-month long international exposition around the theme “The living Ocean and Coasts” in Yeosu, South Korea concluded 12 August with a high-level panel discussion, at which panellists endorsed the Yeosu Declaration, a policy document that aims to promote international cooperation and knowledge-sharing in order to improve stewardship of the marine environment. One of the declaration's key messages is the importance of marine resources to a new green economy.

The panel included FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva; UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova; Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, and other experts. During the course of the discussion Dr Graziano da Silva highlighted the important role that marine ecosystems play in feeding the world, and said that the responsible and sustainable management of oceans and coasts must become “a global priority.” Globally, primary production of fisheries and aquaculture provides approximately 55m people with livelihoods and income (2010*). Including ancillary activities such as processing, marketing, distribution, equipment manufacture and repair, etc brings the total employment with dependents to 660-820m people or 10-12 percent of the world’s population. In addition to their role in providing employment, fisheries and aquaculture also have an important impact on nutrition. Dr Graziano da Silva pointed out that they were a primary source of protein for 17 percent of the world's population and nearly a quarter in low-income food-deficit countries.

*The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2012