In 2016, COFI endorsed a proposal for the Declaration of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture with the purpose of sensitizing public opinion and governments on these sub-sectors and on the importance of adopting specific public policies and programs to enable them to operate in a sustainable manner. Particular attention is to be paid to the most vulnerable rural areas, constrained by poor governance and generally low capacity to make sustainable use of natural resources.

In 2017, the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2022 as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022), with the FAO serving as the lead agency, in collaboration with other relevant organizations and bodies of the United Nations system.

The objectives of IYAFA 2022 are as follows:

  • enhance global awareness about, understanding of, and action to support the contribution of small-scale artisanal fisheries and aquaculture to sustainable development, and more specifically in relation to food security and nutrition, poverty eradication and the use of natural resources;
  • promote dialogue and collaboration between and among small-scale artisanal fishers, fishfarmers, fishworkers, governments and other key partners along the value chain, as well as to further strengthen their capacity to enhance sustainability in fisheries and aquaculture and to enhance their social development and well-being.