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Fish and fish products constitute a major source of income, food, employment and recreation in the global economy (FAO, 2014). Fish products are also essential to food security, providing over 3 billion people almost 20 percent of their intake of animal protein. Many fisheries practices are unsustainable, however, due to overcapacity; illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries; and environmentally detrimental subsidies.

Sustainable management of fisheries can support eliminating hunger and malnutrition, ultimately supporting economic growth. A number of reforms and economic investments can be implemented to promote greener growth in fisheries and enable aquaculture to grow sustainably. These include improving fisheries management, curbing IUU fishing, reducing overcapacity, reducing subsidies, incorporating social equity issues into economic planning, raising efficiency of utilizing by-products, and increasing incentives for sustainable aquaculture practices (FAO, 2014). The present value of benefits from greening the fisheries sector is estimated to be approximately 3 to 5 times the value of the necessary investment (FAO, 2012).

Relevance to SDGs

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 recognizes the role of marine and coastal ecosystems and the need to conserve and promote their sustainable use. SDG 14.4 states the need for regulation on overfishing and 14.6 suggests to eliminate subsidies contributing to illegal and unreported fishing. 

Explore green growth resources related to SDG 14:

SDG 14.4
   SDG 14.6
   SDG 14.7
Small Islands


Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit (ISU), United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI)
International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)

Case Studies

Panorama, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), GRID-Arendal, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Green Growth Best Practice (GGBP)


Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH