Developments over recent decades in fisheries and aquaculture, characterized by the sector’s increasing role in food security, human nutrition and trade, have been accompanied by an expansion of the associated terminology creating the need for more precision and specificity of the terms used, to ensure coherence throughout The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA).

This glossary reflects FAO’s decision to review, revise and elaborate on some specific terms that required clarification. These terms are defined by authoritative sources of FAO or others and consider the singularities of data collection and collation, which often entail exclusions from the standard definitions.

The general definitions focus on the intuitive and common-sense meaning of the relevant term. Where necessary, an explanatory note provides details regarding its application to fisheries and aquaculture. The considerations in the column, Context of SOFIA 2022, address – among others – specific exclusions from the standard definitions in reporting and statistical analysis.

One critical example is the use of the term “fish”, which was extensively used in previous editions to generally encompass all aquatic animal taxa in various contexts such as “fish production”, “fish trade” or “fish consumption”. However, in an evolving and multicultural global context, “fish” could be misleading or non-representative. This glossary takes into consideration these nuances.

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