Small-scale and subsistence fisheries are the backbone of many communities in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region, providing income, food, and jobs to an estimated one million inhabitants. Yet 40% of the fish stocks targeted by these fisheries are being unsustainably exploited—causing risks to the very survival of these fisheries and the environments on which they depend.
Better fisheries management and environmental protection are needed to ensure subsistence fisheries become sustainable. The Southwestern Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission (SWIOFC) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Nairobi Convention, in a project funded by the Swedish International Development Agency, improves coordination between fisheries and environmental management to maintain the health of the WIO’s fisheries resources and the ecosystems that support them.
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