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20 years of responsible fishing: celebrating the FAO Code of Conduct

September 8, 2015

Dr David Agnew discusses the importance of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

Dr David Agnew discusses the importance of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

In October 1995, 170 nations came together to adopt the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The document, formulated by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), consists of guidelines for sustainable fisheries management. It represents a global consensus on a range of fisheries and aquaculture issues.

Use of the Code is voluntary, but it has functioned as a guide for many organisations, including the Marine Stewardship Council. In fact, the MSC Fisheries Standard was one of the first models for sustainable fishing to base its requirements on the FAO Code of Conduct, giving fisheries the opportunity to demonstrate their sustainability against internationally recognised best practice.

20 years since the Code’s introduction, MSC Director of Science & Standards, Dr David Agnew, talks about its significance and looks to the future with hope.

Delegates are meeting in Vigo, Spain to celebrate 20 years since the UN FAO first published its Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing on 8-9 October 2015 . Follow the event on Twitter: #Vigo15

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