FAO-COFI Approves Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries

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FAO-COFI Approves Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries


The first ever international instrument dedicated entirely to an immensely important sector finally recognises the massive role of small-scale fisheries.

The Guidelines can be seen here http://www.fao.org/cofi/23885-09a60857a289b96d28c31433643996c84.pdf

Nicole Franz is Fishery Policy Analyst at FAO and she wrote a blog for Global Partnership for Oceans (see full detail at http://www.globalpartnershipforoceans.org/fao-adopts-small-scale-fisheries-guidelines)

We have taken the liberty of précising this as follows:

Many times the term ‘small-scale fisheries’ (SSF) is not well understood and the distorted perception underestimating – and undermining – the importance and dynamism of small-scale fisheries the world over has tended to prevail but this is finally about to change with these Guidelines.

A few facts re SSF:

  • It represents about 90% of the world’s 39.4 million capture fishers – mostly in developing countries.
  • About 120 million people derive their livelihood from small-scale fisheries– and about half of them are women.
  • Is responsible for producing half of all global fish catches.
  • Supplies most of the fish consumed in the developing world – a highly nutritious food, especially in areas with limited access to other sources of animal protein and micronutrients.
  • Often helps shore up local economies in coastal and lake/riverside communities, providing an engine for the local economy including not just fishing but also many associated activities such as net and boat making, fish drying and salting, marketing and selling.

Small-scale fishers and their communities have largely been neglected, marginalized and living in vulnerable conditions. Most are excluded from national, regional and global decision-making processes. They continue to be defined as ‘small’ while their contribution to and potential for food security and poverty eradication is enormous.

The SSF Guidelines are voluntary, focus on the needs of developing countries and are relevant to small-scale fisheries in marine and inland waters, covering fishing as well as related post-harvest and upstream activities.

The next step is implementation …