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World Fisheries Day:
November 21st, 2021

World Fisheries Day was established in 1997 to draw attention to overfishing, habitat destruction and other serious threats to the sustainability of our marine and freshwater resources. Observing World Fisheries Day can help bring awareness of the importance of aquatic environments in sustaining life both in and out of water. Each World Fisheries Day also provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the ever-increasing challenge of sustaining our fish stocks and the livelihoods of those who depend on the industry. This year’s event will focus special international attention on the need to improve conditions for many of the the men and women who work as in the fishing sector.

Through participation in engaging classroom activities, young people can be encouraged to help make a difference in the health of our aquatic ecosystems, the variety of species they support and all those employed in the fishing industry.

 

Why Care about Fisheries?

• The human population consumes over 100 million metric tons of fish annually (Fisheries & Oceans Canada 2018)

• More than 25% of the world’s dietary protein is provided by fish. (gov.za 2020)

• Each year the Canadian fishery lands over 1 million metric tons of fish valued in excess of 2 billion dollars. (Fisheries & Oceans Canada 2018)

• The global fish market is valued at over 160 billion dollars (statista.com 2020)

• Fisheries and aquaculture employ more than 43 million individuals worldwide. (FA0 2018)

• With 60% of the volume of the world’s fish trade coming from developing counties, there exists a real need for international efforts to ensure decent working conditions.

• Fishing is one of the world’s most dangerous professions. It often lacks adequate labour regulation, and vessels have been associated with forced labour, trafficking, and other abuses of workers.(FAO 2021)

• A recent United Nations study reported that more than two-thirds of the world's fisheries have collapsed or are currently being overfished. Much of the remaining one third is in a state of decline because of habitat degradation from pollution and climate change.

• The largest Northern Cod fishery in the world was located off the coast of Newfoundland. This engine of the Newfoundland economy collapsed in the early 1990’s due to overfishing and poor fisheries management. Thirty years later Newfoundland’s commercial cod fishery remains closed.

• All natural fish stocks today contain at least trace amounts of mercury.

Resources 4 Rethinking encourages students and teachers to participate in World Fisheries Day.  Top R4R Picks will connect you to some excellent resources to support these efforts.

Other Classroom Resources from Learning for a Sustainable Future

Click here for more information about World Fisheries Day