Category Archives: News

From conflict to collaboration between fishers and fish farmers on Lake Kariba

Aquaculturists and fishers open a dialogue on Lake Kariba, which is an important source of food and livelihoods for many in Zambia.

FAO and Michigan State University Partner on Inland Fisheries Projects

MSU Provost and Executive Vice President June Pierce Youatt and FAO ADG Árni M. Mathiesen sing letter of intent on inland fisheries partnership. ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti

MSU Provost and Executive Vice President June Pierce Youatt and FAO Assistant Director-General Árni M. Mathiesen sign letter of intent on inland fisheries partnership. ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti

ROME—At a 10 June 2014 side event on held on the occasion of the 31st Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI), Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and June Pierce Youatt, Provost and Executive Vice President, Michigan State University (MSU), signed a letter of intent to work in partnership on inland fisheries programs including a conference, visiting scholars, internships, and new learning opportunities.

“Inland fisheries provide a crucial source of protein as well as income for millions in the developing world,” Mathiesen said. “We welcome the support of Michigan State University in taking a global, multidisciplinary approach to address the common challenges that face sustainable inland fisheries all over the world.”

“We are fortunate in the State of Michigan to have some of the world’s outstanding inland fisheries, so it is only natural that Michigan State University take a leadership role in working through the United Nations to promote the value and sustainability of the world’s inland fisheries resources,” Youatt said.

The first of these projects is Freshwater, Fish, and the Future, an international conference to be held at FAO headquarters 26-30 January 2015. The Global Conference on Inland Fisheries will take a groundbreaking, global, multidisciplinary approach to inland water issues with a focus on fish and fisheries for food security, livelihoods, and their role in aquatic ecosystems. A cross-sectoral effort to raise the profile of inland fisheries, the conference seeks to better incorporate fish into agricultural, industrial, recreational, and urban land use and water resource planning through development of improved assessment frameworks and value estimation in the context of global change adaptation.

The partnership also establishes the Robin Welcomme Visiting Scholar program, in which MSU will host an exceptional senior scholar in freshwater fisheries resources. The scholar program will contribute to and enrich the MSU community’s intellectual endeavors and international portfolio on the ecology and management of global inland freshwater fisheries. In addition, a new internship program will link the best of FAO mentors with the best of MSU’s graduate students, developing future globally-thinking fisheries professionals. The partnership will establish advanced learning opportunities on global inland fisheries and aquatic ecosystems through the development of online and distance learning courses and lectures. Finally, the Provost announced the establishment of a new faculty position related to global inland freshwater fisheries ecology and governance to augment the partnership.

See all of the photos from COFI and the side event here and here.

COFI Side Event

We are excited to announce our side event at 31st Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) at FAO headquarters in Rome next week. Attendees at COFI are welcome to join us at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday in the Lebanon Room (D 209) for an update on inland fisheries partnerships and projects around the world. The event concludes with a signing ceremony between FAO and Michigan State University to collaborate on inland fisheries projects such as the Global Conference on Inland Fisheries. See

Lao and Australian team researches fishways for the Mekong Basin

Just in time for World Fish Migration Day, a new video on Lao and Australian research on fishways for the Mekong basin:

Proposed Nicaragua canal threatens unique freshwater ecosystems

A proposed canal across Nicaragua would impact the unique ecosystem of Lake Nicaragua and several other freshwater systems. Louisiana State University ichthyologist Prosanta Chakrabarty comments on the potential impacts to both the fish and people of Nicaragua:

Nicaragua Canal

SOFIA 2014 Fisheries Report Released

The State of the World’s Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) 2014 report has been issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The report reveals people have never consumed so much fish or depended so greatly on the sector for their well-being as today:

SOFIA capture fisheries graph

Explore the value chain of Lake Malawi fisheries

Remarkable photos illustrate the value chain of fisheries on Lake Malawi:

IRIN Malawi video screenshot

Can dams be made safer for fish?

Colorized photo of the swim bladder of a smallmouth bass. Credit: Photo courtesy of PNNL

Colorized photo of the swim bladder of a smallmouth bass. Credit: Photo courtesy of PNNL

The pressure changes that many fish experience when they travel through the turbulent waters near a dam can seriously injure or kill the fish. Scientists from around the world, including areas like Southeast Asia and Brazil where huge dams are planned or under construction, are working together to protect fish from the phenomenon, known as barotrauma. A new article in Fisheries reviews recent advances in turbine design.

Full article:

World Fish Migration Day Events Multiplying



More than 200 events are now planned for World Fish Migration Day on 24 May, including “fish selfies” from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region – download your fish cut-outs today! See for more information about events worldwide.

“Watermark” film and photos show our relationship with water

Explore our relationship with water on an global, epic scale: