EAT Stockholm Food Forum: Swedish Deputy PM Bemoans the Depleting Rate of World’s Fish Stock  

Isabella Lövin – Swedish Deputy PM

June 18, 2018//-The Swedish Deputy Prime Minister (PM) and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, Isabella Lövin, has bemoaned the rate at which the world’s fish stock is being depleted.

According to her, currently more than 70% of the world’s fish stock today are fully over-fished to the limit that you cannot fish.

She made this known at the just-ended EAT Stockholm Food Forum held in Sweden.

Madam Lövin admitted that Sweden had not had a very sustainable fishing either which had resulted in development of the stocks depleted over  last 40 years.

“We have had a long experience of unsustainable fishing in Europe as well and it is slowly, slowly improving now but for sure the stocks are at very low levels.”

Madam Lövin added that the evidence is extremely clear globally that fishing with dynamite and other types of unsustainable fishing methods are just destructive but was hopeful that education for the fishermen and self regulations could help curb the situation.

She observed that there have been a lot of interest from fishing community and the last 15 years has seen enormous difference in attitudes within the fishing industry as a result of demand for better ways of doing things from consumers.

“Last year, at the United Nation’s biggest Ocean Conference there were a lot of voluntary commitments from countries, organizations and private sector and one of the major initiatives and commitments was from major fishing companies in the world”, according to her.

These big players have now commited to protect the ocean especially illegal fishing, unsustainable fishing, to eliminate child labour, Madam Lövin stated.

Those are the big companies in fishing and  the pressure is both from consumers and also from the reality of sourcing a sustainable fish, “If they don’t do that they will die” as the saying goes: “Adopt or die”, she noted.

Touching on food security, the Deputy Prime Minister said it was to ensure that, people understand what climate change will mean for growing crops today.

She said: “ Today, we are here in Sweden, we have extreme weather even going on, right now we had no rain, we have a few drops today, this is the first time for more than five weeks that we had rain” she described it as never ever happened before.

If this is happening in a rich country like Sweden then the consequence for developing countries will be serious that is why Sweden is contributing to adoptations, strategies and monitor that by increasing weather report assistance for farmers, Madam Lövin stressed.

She cautioned that the mistakes made in the industrialized worlds would not be repeated in the developing countries when setting up food production system.

To this end, the Deputy Prime Minister therefore advised that developing countries should endeavour to invest in renevable energy and enough storage system to cut down post-harvest losses.

The 2018 edition of the annual EAT Stockholm Food Forum convened over 600 delegates comprising policy makers, scientists, researchers,  politicians, industry players doctors, entrepreneurs, chefs, and civil society organisations from over 50 countries who are interested in ensuring change in the world to make a comfortable place to live.

The Government of Sweden hosted the delegates at the fifth annual EAT Stockholm Food Forum, from June 11-12, in Stockholm, Sweden to deliberate on prevailing challenges facing food and find sustainable solutions to them.

The forum for the first time is jointly hosted by EAT and the Government of Sweden.

EAT is an independent non-profit organization with three core partners: the Wellcome Trust, the Stordalen Foundation and the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

Climate change, effects of climate change, sustainable food production and food waste topped the topics for discussions at the forum and for two days, delegates deliberatedon how best to make a change in the world by transforming the food system in order to make healthy food available to all, while protecting the environment and depletion of limited resources.

During the two day forum,experts advised that the developing countries should invest in proper food storage system and renewable energy to cut down waste.

Again developing countries and the world as a whole would be able to minimize hunger and malnutrition if an aggressive agenda is pursued to sanitise how food is produced, prepared and consumed.

By Maame Agyeiwaa Agyei, back from Stockholm, Sweden



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