U.N. and Vatican officials are calling for intensified efforts to end rights abuses, including forced labor and human trafficking, in the world's fishing industry.

Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization, on Monday noted that the industry provides food and income for millions of people. He added: "Sadly, the same industry that offers so many opportunities also victimizes the most vulnerable."

Marking World Fisheries Day, the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, recommended coordinated international efforts "to break the chain of exploitation" in the fishing industry in many countries.

An expose by The Associated Press led to the release of more than 2,000 slaves in the fishing industry in southeast Asia and won the news organization the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.