New video highlights why sustainable fisheries need transparency

To achieve sustainable fisheries, the availability and quality of information is critical. In this new video, we highlight the importance of transparency for sustainable fisheries management and emphasize what stakeholders gain from engaging their country in the FiTI.

Marine fisheries have become a critical resource fulfilling the economic, food security, and nutrition needs of millions of people around the world. For millennia those that dedicated themselves to fishing either for family consumption, recreational interest or as a commercial activity needed not to worry about the sustainable management of this natural resource. Fish stocks replenished themselves with ease. That is not the case anymore. The global COVID-19 pandemic has struck at a time when the ocean was already under increasing threat from myriad impacts, including climate change, pollution and overfishing.

Fisheries might have been slow to catch on to the transparency wave, but it is now widely accepted as being fundamental to sustainable fisheries management. But being accepted does not mean it is seen as priority. Many governments are still not disclosing even basic information on their fisheries sector, such as laws, permits, fish agreements, stock assessments, financial contributions, catch data, and subsidies. Also, not all companies are reliably reporting on catch volumes, fishing practices and payments to governments. And data that is publicly available is too often incomplete, outdated, unverified, or not readily understandable. This affects not only the capacity of governments to manage their fisheries efficiently, but also the ability of other stakeholders to contribute towards oversight and accountability.

This video was supported by the World Bank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund PROBLUE.