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Vatican message for World Fisheries Day

The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People has released a message for World Fisheries Day, which is commemorated on November 21.

The pontifical council called upon “all the national and local AOS [Apostleship of the Sea offices] to renew their commitment to establish a significant presence in fishing ports and develop specific programs to make fishers and their families an integral part of the local Christian community, giving them the opportunity to express themselves and their needs without being isolated.”

Stating that “fishers can be easily exploited, abused and become victims of trafficking and forced labor, as it has been reported and documented in the mass media,” the pontifical council also called upon more states to ratify a 2007 treaty, the Work in Fishing Convention, and called for greater respect for the environment.

“Since time immemorial, fishing has been a source of food for humankind and made major contributions to fishing nations’ economies, employing millions of people worldwide and feeding millions more,” the message stated. “However, as we have reached a critical point, it is necessary to practice responsible fishing and respecting nature; the risk is that within a limited period of time many coastal communities that are relying on fishing for their subsistence and economy, will lose their source of livelihood.”

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