The Environmental Change and Security Program, with technical and financial assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development, launched a seven-part series on the management and future of fisheries in September 2006.

The series, "Fishing for a Secure Future," explores fisheries through multiple lenses, and evaluates their importance to food production, livelihoods, and economies around the world.

In 2002, the net export value of fish from developing counties was almost $20 billion—more than the combined net export value of rice, coffee, sugar, and tea. And by 2020, developing countries will account for almost 80 percent of total food fish production. Fisheries also play a vital role for food security: more than 2.6 billion people in developing countries rely on fish for a substantial part of dietary protein.

In comparison to other sectors of the world food economy, however, fisheries management is poorly planned, inadequately funded, and neglected by all levels of government. And fisheries around the world are over-harvested and suffering from declining stocks.

Recent analyses indicate that well-managed fisheries could increase productivity five-fold. Developing countries desperately need help building the capacity of individuals and institutions, and redirecting market forces to improve fisheries management.

The seven seminars will explore how well-managed fisheries may help communities achieve development goals, ensure sustained delivery of environmental goods and services, and conserve biodiversity.

Event summaries, videos, and presentations for the following meetings are currently online:

The July/August 2007 issue of Centerpoint, the Wilson Center's monthly newsletter, featured an article on ECSP's fisheries series as the cover story.