People who depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods face both an increasing number and intensity of natural disasters. Most small-scale fishers and fish workers live in developing countries, and often face a range of diverse problems that increase their vulnerability to hazards including food insecurity, poverty, pollution, environmental degradation, overexploitation of resources, high levels of accidents at sea and conflicts with industrial fishing operations. The specific characteristics of fishing and fish farming operations (such as location and exposure) also increase vulnerability to hazards. Assistance to countries and partners in responding to disasters is becoming a greater part of the work of international agencies, including FAO.
To date there have been no systematic guidelines available to support those responding to an emergency involving the fisheries and aquaculture sector. This document aims to fill that gap and to improve the effectiveness of such interventions.