The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri, has released the report on “Fisheries and the right to food in the context of climate change”.

The report was released at the Fifty-fifth session of the Human Rights Council, 26 February–5 April 2024, under Agenda item 3 “Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development”.

In the report, submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant to Council resolution 43/11, the Special Rapporteur provides a framework for the advancement of the rights of small-scale fishers, fish workers and Indigenous Peoples, and a guide for States to ensure that the world’s aquatic ecosystems are biodiverse and safe, and that States fulfil human-rights obligations despite climate-change challenges.

The report points out that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is trying to balance economic interests with human rights through its Blue Transformation programme. Blue Transformation is the FAO vision to expand aquatic food systems and increase their contribution to nutritious and affordable healthy diets, ensuring environmental stewardship and inclusive growth, especially for those communities that depend on fisheries and aquaculture, leaving no one behind.

The report concludes by asserting that the “ocean is our Mother and the rivers are her kin. States and businesses must stop exploiting oceans and rivers and treating them like a commodity, and instead recognize that oceans and rivers are a source of life”.

It further urges that “policies need to be refocused on addressing the needs and challenges of small-scale fisheries, which are integral to most countries’ recovery from the pandemic and to food system transformation, to counteract the fact that large industrial fleets dominate fisheries management efforts and political interests”.

The report can be accessed at