2021 World Fisheries Cooperative Day Commemorative Address




2021 World Fisheries Cooperative Day Commemorative Address

Respected members of fisheries cooperatives of the world and distinguished representatives of member organizations of ICFO,

Celebrating World Fisheries Cooperative Day, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude and encouragement for those who strive for the improvement of our lives through the development of fisheries.

This year, World Fisheries Cooperative Day was to be celebrated at a ceremony held every three years, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is inevitably made to be celebrated in writing.

With your deep interest and strong support, the ICFO has been making great achievements in increased cooperation and exchange among members, educational support for the development of fisheries and fisheries cooperatives, and joint response to current fisheries issues.

However, we are still faced with unprecedented crises and challenges, including depletion of fisheries resources, oceanic pollution and climate change. In addition, the continued COVID-19 pandemic has brought great confusion to countries, and fishermen who are more vulnerable than others are experiencing even greater difficulties.

Therefore, we come to realize that conservation of the marine environment, production of safe sea products and sustainable fisheries are important tasks that the Fisheries Cooperatives must take the lead for the safety of humanity and the survival of the fishery industry.

Honorable world fisheries members,

We must once again reflect on the spirit of cooperatives and show our cohesive strength through cross-border solidarity and cooperation in order to overcome this unprecedented global crisis.

Previously in April, the fisheries cooperatives around the world issued a statement requesting the Japanese government to withdraw its decision to release radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in the North Pacific, considering it as a threat to human safety, the marine environment and the existence of the fishery industry.

As such, the World Fisheries Cooperative Day celebrated today means to strengthen our will to protect human health, the sea, and the fishery industry, and to renew the responsibilities and roles of cooperatives.

In particular, cooperatives have demonstrated their potential to overcome difficulties and develop further based on cooperation and solidarity, and each country has shown their will to develop cooperatives as a model for sustainable economic growth. 

Therefore, I am confident that we can overcome the current crisis if we pursue the cooperative values in the face of daunting challenge.

So, I look forward to holding a ceremony to celebrate the hard work of the fisheries cooperatives who overcame the COVID-19 pandemic and declare the united will to create the sea of life and hope on World Fisheries Cooperative Day next year.

Once again, I would like to congratulate on World Fisheries Cooperative Day, and I wish all of you good health and well being.

Thank you.

Im Joon-taek

ICFO Chairman​