DURHAM, N.C. – Researchers from Duke University are playing key roles in organizing an international symposium, July 9 in Rome, Italy, on small-scale fisheries’ contributions to sustainable development and food security.

The symposium, “The Importance of Small-Scale Fisheries: Global, Regional and National Initiatives,” will be held as a side event at the 33rd Session of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Committee on Fisheries (COFI).

“Duke is a core partner, along with FAO and the NGO WorldFish, in presenting this event, which focuses on small-scale fisheries’ role in sustainable development, particularly in terms of improving food security and eradicating poverty,” says Xavier Basurto, associate professor of sustainability science at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

Basurto, who teaches at the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, N.C., is one of eight experts who will present at the event. His presentation is on “Illuminating Hidden Harvests: The Contribution of Small-Scale Fisheries to Food Security and Nutrition in Mexico.”

John Virdin, director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and Maria del Mar Mancha-Cisneros, a postdoctoral associate in Basurto’s Coasts and Commons Co-Laboratory, worked with Basurto and other partners to organize the event.

Participants at the symposium will also discuss strategies for implementing voluntary guidelines, established by FAO in 2014, for supporting and promoting sustainable small-scale fisheries at the regional, national and global levels.

The event will be webcast at http://www.fao.org/webcast/home/en/item/4779/code/.