Analyzing the present situation and major challenges of artisanal fishing and aquaculture in Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the main goals of the 16th Regular Meeting of the Commission for Small-Scale and Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture of Latin America and the Caribbean (COPPESAALC), which is also aimed at identifying possible South-South cooperation actions and strategic alliances with other organizations.
Cuban Minister of the Food-Processing Industry Iris Quiñones Rojas and the Senior Fishery and Aquaculture Officer at the Regional Office of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for Latin America and the Caribbean, Alejandro Flores, lead the event. This Regular Meeting, which will be held through September 5 at the Melia Habana Hotel, is also attended by Marcelo Resende, FAO representative in Cuba, and about fifty representatives from COPPESAALC member countries.
The sustainable development of small-scale, artisanal fishing and aquaculture is key to food safety and poverty reduction in the region, given its role as a primary sources of essential proteins and nutrients and as income and livelihoods for millions of families.
Small-scale artisanal fishing represents the livelihood of at least 1.8 million families in the region, as well as being the main source – and in some cases the only one – of animal protein for hundreds of riverside communities, many of them indigenous.