Reading Time: 2 minutes It's hoped the policy can 'translate into positive ramifications in aquaculture development' Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The United Nations (UN) is making a move to improve animal welfare for marine life, by listing its importance on key documents.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently added aquatic animal welfare to the Shanghai Declaration.

Marine animals welfare push

The declaration sets joint commitments for how aquaculture can help reach the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. It also provides a ‘roadmap’ for improvements to aquaculture, created by a coalition of organizations and experts.

A host of animal welfare organizations submitted comments at the FAO’s Global Conference on Aquaculture, with a view to making fishing more sustainable across global food systems.

The Aquatic Life Institute (ALI), an organization working to reduce aquatic animal suffering, is one of them.

Head of strategic initiatives, Christine Xu, told PBN it’s a ‘huge win’ for welfare and is a ‘true testament’ to the ALI’s advocacy efforts.

As a result of the submitted comments, the policy document now recognizes sustainability, biosecurity, and disease prevention.

Maintaining a ‘healthy’ environment is among the plans, as well as ensuring human and animal health standards.

AFI lead researcher Tessa Gonzalez branded the comments positive. This is because it can ‘translate into positive ramifications in aquaculture development’ across the next decade.

Other organizations that helped secure the additions are Compassion In World Farming, Anima International, Mercy for Animals, Viva!, and Humane Society International.

Ending industrial fishing

While the measures don’t mark an end to farming sea animals for food, it is hoped it will improve the conditions of millions of marine animals around the globe.

The final draft of the Shanghai Declaration, adopted two weeks ago, even added an extra clause on aquatic animal welfare.

And, the UN further accepted that putting welfare at the center can help improve nutrition and the industry’s environmental footprint, the documents indicate.

Now, all participants have pledged to adopt the outline.

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Emily is a News and Features Writer for Plant Based News. She has previously worked as a journalist in Devon, UK, reporting on local issues from politics to the environment.