WCS is pleased to announce our participation in the Coalition for Aquatic/Blue Foods, a new international effort to elevate the importance of climate smart blue foods in global food systems and to progress key UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Marking the opening of the UN Ocean Conference, the Coalition launched with major commitments from countries like Fiji and Portugal who declared their intentions to prioritize smart management of small-scale fisheries to net nutrition, biodiversity, and macro economic outcomes.

“Hearing the commitments from Mozambique, Fiji, and Portugal today is very encouraging,” said Dr. Hoyt Peckham, WCS Director of Small Scale Fisheries. “WCS is committed to the Aquatic/Blue Foods Coalition, and we are supporting the fishers, their communities, and their governments to champion the vision of the coalition: managing fisheries for their nutrition and biodiversity as well as their economic outcomes is crucial for all of us.”

A recent whitepaper from WCS, released with leading conservation partners as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Vibrant Oceans Initiative, explored the role of coral reef small-scale fisheries in addressing malnutrition and avoiding biodiversity loss. WCS’s engagement in the Aquatic/Blue Foods Coalition is the next step in our global commitment to working hand in hand with governments and communities to manage fisheries for the benefit of people and biodiversity. As a Coalition member, we will work around the world with our partners to further State commitments and support on the ground implementation of this work.

Mozambique has been focusing on sustainable small-scale fisheries over the past years, with investment in new legislation and collaborative partnerships with donors and NGOs like WCS. The new regulation for maritime fisheries, for which WCS has actively contributed, has introduced significant improvements which will allow the full operationalization of fisheries co-management and legalization of temporary and permanent resource recovery areas. The Minister of Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries re-stated these efforts the country is doing, which are essential for improving food-security of thousands of Mozambican coastal communities, which rely on biodiversity and ecosystem services for their livelihoods.

The Coalition is a joint project of the Environmental Defense Fund, Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, EAT, WWF, WorldFish and more. Learn more about the initiative here.