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Briefing note on the contribution of UN/CEFACT to UN Sustainable Development Goal 14

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Due to overfishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, the world fish stocks are depleting. As of 2011, the fraction of assessed stocks fished within  bologically sustainable levels declined to 71.2% and consequently, 28.8% of fish stocks were estimated as fished at a biologically unsustainable level (FAO, 2014). This threatens not only the fish, but also the humans depending on them. The breakdown or collapse of coastal fisheries has a direct impact on the economic well-being of the coastal communities that rely on fisheries for economic survival and a dependable food source. According to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), “about 1 billion people largely in developing countries rely on fish as their primary animal protein source. In 2010, fish provided more than 2.9 billion people with almost 20% of their intake of animal protein, and 4.3 billion people with about 15 % of such protein” (MSC, 2015).

The United Nations has recognised the critical role of the ocean and its resources by dedicating Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources) to it. Of the targets for this Goal, 4 out of 6 indicators relate to the conservation of fish stocks,