Sustainable Fishery Development in Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (SFISH)

Project Summary

The ongoing conflict has weakened Yemen’s institutions, resulting in one of the world's worst humanitarian crises with approximately 20 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and 4 million displaced (nearly 80 per cent of whom are women and children). An estimated 40 percent of households have lost their primary income source, contributing to an increase in poverty to 75 per cent of the population in 2019.

Furthermore, food insecurity - a chronic problem in Yemen - has increased to unprecedented levels. In the first half of 2021, the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) indicates that a total of 16.1 million people (54 per cent of the country’s population) were estimated to be acutely food insecure (IPC Phase 3 and above for the population in the coastal zone), despite the presence of the ongoing humanitarian food assistance.

In response to this deepening crisis, UNDP Yemen has partnered with the World Bank’s International Development Association, the Public Work Project (PWP), and Small and Micro Enterprise Promotion Service (SMEPS) to implement the new project Sustainable Fishery Development in Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (SFISH). SFISH aims to improve economic opportunities, increase food security and provide effective management of fishery production in Yemen.

The project focuses on reviving the fishery sector in select areas while ensuring its effective management for its resilience; contributing to food and nutritional security by increasing food availability, access, and utilization in the project areas; and creating sustainable income generation and livelihood opportunities for the Yemeni households engaged in the fishery value chain. It will work with local partners, fishery cooperatives and associations, fishery communities, and the private sector to undertake activities to protect the fish and their ecosystems and to improve the fishery governance in select coastal governates (critical in addressing overexploitation, equal access to resources and benefit-sharing).

The project incorporates complementary activities in food and nutritional security and economic opportunities in the coastal governorates that improve income generation; contribute to improved access to food; and restoring and improving fishery production addressing post-harvest losses and quality of fish - all ultimately increasing food availability and nutrition. Furthermore, involvement of fishing households will be scalable and can be expanded to other coastal governates. This is particularly important for non-fishing seasons and for those adult family members not involved in restoring and developing small-scale infrastructure through cash-for-work; provision of access to financing (as grants); fishery inputs; value chain development; and facilitating access to markets.

Developing key fishery infrastructure - particularly the cold chain to address post-harvest losses and maintaining quality for consumption and trade and related fishery value chain infrastructure - will be key activities under the project. It will also support a national-level country-specific fishery sector platform to coordinate various investments coming into Yemen, bring the voice of the local experts, and to collaborate with national institutions. The project will also integrate nutrition education into capacity-development initiatives so that women and men, especially from the fishery households, understand the importance of also consuming some of the fish they sell as part of a healthy diet for their families.


The development objective is to promote regional cooperation for sustainable fishery management in the RSGA region while strengthening the fishery value chain in RSGA countries. The objective will be achieved through the following outcomes:

Outcome 1: Mechanism for collaborative management of fishery strengthened for RSGA region

Outcome 2: Fishery value chain strengthened in Yemen

Expected Results

  • The project direct beneficiaries are 5,600 (30 per cent women)
  • 4,200 fishers and micro and medium enterprises will benefit from voucher inputs/micro grants to develop fishery value chain activities (30 per cent women).
  • 920 youth from supply chain enablers and MSMEs will be provided with enhanced skills with grants to establish fishery enterprises and access to market opportunities.
  • 35 fishery associations and cooperatives will be supported with matching microgrants for improved production.
  • 5,600 beneficiaries (30 per cent women) to receive awareness on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Gender social safeguards.
  • 480 fisherwomen will be provided with enhanced skills with grants to establish fishery enterprises and access to market opportunities.
  • 9 Fishery infrastructure will be rehabilitated/restored with enhanced climate resilience.
  • 10,000 Individuals (30 per cent women) will benefit from training and capacity building to develop the fishery value chain, responsible fishing practices, fishery management, and nutritional benefits of fish.
  • 4 sub-national fishery governance committees will be established.
  • A study on fishery sector diversification and development of a business model will be developed and disseminated.
  • 2 sub-national fishery management plans will be developed.



October 2022


September 2025






United Nations Development Programme


Intl Dev Association (IDA)







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