Monday, June 15, 2015

15/06/2015: Brazilian Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Barbalho and FAO Assistant Director-General Mathiesen meet in Rome

Brazil's Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Helder Zahluth Barbalho, today visited FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, and met with Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department.

The meeting included a signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Responsibilities  between FAO and the Government of Brazil for the hosting of the Eighth Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries Sub-Committee on Aquaculture, to be held 5-9 October 2015 in Brasilia, Brazil.

Minister Barbalho expressed Brazil’s pleasure in welcoming all participants to the meeting in October, stressing Brazil’s commitment to working on important aquaculture issues with FAO, especially since aquaculture can play an important role in the FAO-led efforts to eliminate global hunger.
Minister Barbalho and Mr. Mathiesen also discussed closer collaboration between the Government of Brazil and FAO. In particular, they spoke about a proposed triangular South South cooperation initiative between the Republic of Brazil, FAO, and developing countries to share successful Brazilian experiences on fisheries and aquaculture, to provide technical assistance to strengthening the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in partner countries through development and implementation of tailor-made country projects, and to disseminate findings and knowledge sharing in order to scale up successful initiatives.

Minister Barbalho also stressed Brazil’s strong support for the FAO-negotiated Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication.
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“Implementation of the Guidelines is one of our top priorities in Brazil, and should be a top priority for all our fisheries and aquaculture collaboration with FAO. In Brazil, we have more than one million registered fisherfolk. Many have very difficult living conditions, with limited access to information and education. We need to bring them into the decision-making process and empower them to improve their conditions.”

“If the Voluntary Guidelines could be summed up with one theme, that would be inclusion,” said FAO’s Assistant-Director General Mathiesen. 

“The Voluntary Guidelines focus on inclusion of small-scale fishers in all aspects of management and decision-making. In order to do this effectively, we need to support them with access to education and capacity building. These are among our priorities when we work with countries on implementation.”

Minister Barbalho and Mr. Mathiesen also discussed the need to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and the particular challenges Brazil faces in monitoring its long coastlines.

Minister Barbalho informed that Brazil will host a workshop  later this year between Brazil, Norway and Australia to share experiences and learn from successful efforts in these countries. FAO welcomed this news, and looked forward to closer collaboration on this issue.

Other issues discussed included Brazil’s commitment to eliminating waste, including bycatch, and a joint Latin America-FAO-GEF project that addresses this issue of bycatch management for Latin American and Caribbean trawl fisheries. Additional issues included intensification of aquaculture to meet food security needs, ratification of the Port State Measures Agreement, improving efficiency along the value chain of fish and fish products, and bringing harvest of the fishers closer to the consumers in order to improve their earnings and livelihoods.

Visit the FAO Fisheries & Aquaculture page HERE.

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