Welcome to the Global Inland Fisheries Conference!

Freshwater, Fish, and the Future: A Cross-Sectoral Conference to Sustain Livelihoods, Food Security, and Aquatic Ecosystems is a global conference being held at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome in January 2015. What makes this conference groundbreaking is its global, multidisciplinary approach to inland fisheries issues. Although fisheries scientists often meet regionally in various parts of the world, they have not met on such a worldwide scale specifically to address freshwater fisheries issues. And they will be joined by economists, sociologists, and international development and policy experts to create holistic approach to the many challenges to inland fisheries sustainability.

Why are inland fisheries so important? FAO estimates that worldwide 1 billion people rely on fish as their main source of animal protein. Many of these people live in the developing world where they have few alternative sources of food. Often, investment, agriculture, and development policies designed to help the rural poor are at odds with maintaining the inland fisheries on which they depend. In addition, inland fisheries are important drivers in local economies and often bring in tourism income through recreational fisheries. And finally, fish are vital components of aquatic ecosystems—freshwater systems that can support thriving fisheries also provide a number of environmental benefits for other wildlife and people as well.

Please join us over the coming year as we explore the many aspects of inland fisheries here on our website, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, and YouTube. Watch how the conference develops and grows, and add your own input on freshwater fisheries issues. With cross-sectoral participation from around the world, we can raise the profile of inland fisheries and make sure that their value is recognized globally.

Beth Beard

Communications Director

Global Conference on Inland Fisheries