Inland capture fisheries provide food for nearly a billion people and are important in the livelihoods of millions of households worldwide. Although there are limitations to evaluating many of the contributions made by inland capture fisheries, there is growing recognition by the international community that these services make critical contributions, most notably to food security and livelihoods in rural populations in those low-income countries with extensive freshwater resources. With the increasing appreciation of the key role of inland fisheries to the health and well-being of human populations globally, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Michigan State University convened the 2015 global conference, Freshwater, fish, and the future – cross-sectoral approaches to sustain livelihoods, food security, and aquatic ecosystems. What emerged from the interactions between inland fisheries’ scientists, resource managers, policymakers and community representatives from across the world was a forward-looking call to action culminating with the 2015 Rome Declaration “Ten Steps to Responsible Inland Fisheries” (FAO & MSU, Rome declaration on responsible inland fisheries: 5735E/1/06.16). Four years after this landmark conference and declaration, we seek to advance discussion on the “Ten Steps,” namely what successful implementation looks like, assess current examples of implementation, suggest potential signals of progress and provide some specific, indicative examples of progress for each step. While there are promising signs of progress, we conclude that there remains a strong need to galvanize momentum for sustained action to ensure that inland fish and fisheries are accounted for and incorporated into broader water resource management discussions and frameworks.

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Fish and Fisheries
Department of Biology

Lynch, A.J. (Abigail J.), Bartley, D.M. (Devin M.), Beard, T.D. (Thomas Douglas), Cowx, I.G. (Ian G.), Funge-Smith, S. (Simon), Taylor, W.W. (William W.), & Cooke, S.J. (2019). Examining progress towards achieving the Ten Steps of the Rome Declaration on Responsible Inland Fisheries. Fish and Fisheries. doi:10.1111/faf.12410