I have always been decidedly nonchalant about ‘international days of…’. I find it trite, and overused, and too often for things that are not causes for celebration.

Birthdays and anniversaries are celebrations of people and unions. People and the planet are worth celebrating, but a hashtag is worth nothing.

But today is a chance to reflect on where our food is coming from, and whose work is behind it.

Fishers, in contrast to fisheries, that is something I can get behind, because these are the faces behind the numbers.

Yesterday, the UK hosted the Global Food Security Summit, a decade after the first Nutrition for Growth Summit where millions were pledged to fight malnutrition. A special session chaired by FCDO’s chief scientific advisor called for joined up action to harness digital and emerging technology and find sustainable scalable solutions

However, the focus is often on crops. With #WorldFisheriesDay falling the day after this critical summit, it’s time to reveal – and support - the immense value of fishers for food security and nutrition. The new AABS project, funded by the UK government’s Blue Planet Fund is doing just that - seeking to unearth the challenges faced by these fishers, and work with them to leverage data for positive change for their livelihoods and their ecosystems.

This #WorldFisheriesDay also falls on the first day of a workshop in Mombasa, Kenya for this project. The workshop, like the one held in Zanzibar earlier this month, brings together fishers, gleaners, women’s co-operatives, local beach management units, NGOs, researchers, government and private sector representatives to map challenges and plan next steps for AABS.

Photo credit: Alina Paul-Bossuet and Alex Tilley

This photo story gives a glimpse of the types of issues and solutions - real-time insights from the people behind the numbers. This is what we should celebrate today - ensuring research about fishers is truly inclusive, country led and useful to those whose lives depend on it.