Fish catch break on world stage at global conference
27 January 2015

Inland fishing – the powerful yet quieter sister to the large, salty marine aquaculture powerhouse – has gained what experts say is a much-needed visibility boost this as the first partnership between Michigan State University (MSU) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations goes on in Rome.

These freshwater fish provide the food, sport and economic power across the globe. Inland fishing is often a study in the power of the many, more about the line and the net, about individuals, families and small cooperatives. More than 60 million people in low-income nations are estimated to rely on inland fisheries for their livelihood.

Its small-but-many base has in modern times across the globe been shy of strong data to document its impact. That has left the inland fishery industry a poor competitor for water against agriculture, energy, commercial development and industry.

Raising the profile of quiet-but-powerful giant that is inland fishing has joined MSU and the FAO. This week they bring together 212 people from 45 countries to the The Global Conference on Inland Fisheries at the FAO headquarters to discuss ways to make fish a competitive part of global development.

“Fish always been representative of how well humans are doing with their environment,” said Bill Taylor, University Distinguished Professor in Global Fisheries Systems in MSU’s Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability (CSIS). “It’s time for us to make a move and speak for the fish to have them valued along with power, commercial, agriculture and other competition for water.”

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