06/13/2014, 00.00
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Sri Lanka's fishermen and women celebrate new FAO agreement

by Melani Manel Perera
It is a set of guidelines to support the visibility, recognition and development of these workers. On a global scale, 90% of people involved in small scale fisheries. The instrument is dedicated to one activist, who died on Flight MH370 Malaysian.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - A the "historic" conquest: this is how Herman Kumara, activist and a special guest of the World Forum for Fisher People (WFFP), describes to AsiaNews the adoption by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the first international tool dedicated to the defense and promotion of small scale fisheries. These Guidelines (Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication) will support the visibility, recognition and development of small fisheries and fishing communities, with the aim of eradicating hunger and poverty.

Presented during the 31st session of the FAO Committee of Fisheries, the tool is dedicated to Chandrika Sharma, Executive Secretary of the International Collective in Support of Fish Workers (ICSF), who died on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

Throughout the world, Herman Kumara explains to AsiaNews, "140 million people are engaged in fishing: 90% is made up of small-scale fishermen, especially in the southern hemisphere. The catch of these workers represents half of the total volume and provides about 60% of fish for direct human consumption. " In addition, "for each small scale fisherman there are at least four other people who perform activities related to the production, from the preparation of the equipment, to the sale of the catch. Overall, more than 500 thousand people depend on small-scale fisheries for their livelihood."

For over six years, a platform of civil society organizations has worked together with the FAO to develop this tool. The associations are: World Forum of Fisher People (WFFP), World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers (Wff), International Planning Committee on Food Sovereignty (IPC), International Collective of Fish Workers (ICSF).


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