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42. During the final session of the Workshop participants framed consensus on a set of summary and concluding statements, as well as on next steps to take.

Summary and conclusions

43. The Workshop agreed that small-scale fisheries contribute significantly to poverty alleviation and improvement of food security, and play an important role in sustainable use of aquatic resources. However, the Workshop expressed concern over the lack of methods to demonstrate this contribution.

44. The importance was stressed of clearly identifying who assessments are for (clients/beneficiaries) and what purpose they serve in the context of a larger development agenda for SSF.

45. The Workshop noted that it was useful to make a distinction between two major types of assessments - diagnostic and ongoing. Ongoing assessments are part of an iterative process that monitors progress in implementing action and feeds into an adaptive learning process, whereas diagnostic assessments are used more to provide a “snap shot” of a situation. More work has been done on diagnostic assessments of socio-economic dimensions as compared to environmental/resource dimensions. Diagnostic assessment should lead to ongoing assessment.

46. It is important to exert due efforts to explore the availability of existing data/information and also the possibility of coordinating with other ongoing initiatives before investing scarce resources on assessment. Such information can be fed into planned assessments, whether diagnostic or ongoing.

47. It is not possible to assess SSF in isolation from their broader context, including large scale fisheries and sectors outside of fisheries. Externalities must be considered and assessments must be based on more holistic and integrated analysis.

48. Principles that should underpin selection of diagnostic and ongoing assessment methods were formulated by the Workshop to guide analysis and development of methods for interdisciplinary assessment in future.

49. Participants noted that there are many frameworks for dealing with the large number of attributes of a small-scale fishery under assessment. One general approach is to group these frameworks in terms of major domains: i) Environmental/resources; ii) Human/developmental; and iii) Institutional/governance. This approach was used during the Workshop to categorize known methods as a means to identify their respective weaknesses as well as their potential for expanded application.

50. The Workshop agreed that there was a need for an integrated framework to facilitate comprehensive understanding of the issues, based on the most cost effective and efficient assessments.

51. A preliminary analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of known assessment methods showed that there were considerable limitations with respect to SSF applications in some, and especially for biological methods. There is a need to examine what is available from other sectors (e.g. agro-forestry and water resource management).

52. The Workshop suggested that some methods could be expanded to provide more efficient data collection for more comprehensive assessment of SSF, although it was noted that there were many constraints that would need to be addressed to make this a reality. It was also noted that data collected for one purpose could often be used to address other assessment needs.

53. The Workshop concluded that major constraints on the development of integrated assessments include the lack of:

54. The Workshop reviewed the proposed project to develop appropriate SSF assessment methods and build individual and institutional capacity within developing countries.

55. In general, the scope of the project proposed in the draft Concept Note needs to be more clearly restricted to the issue of SSF assessment, but at the same time should be placed in a broader development agenda context.

56. A number of specific suggestions for changes in the Concept Note for the project were provided. Participants noted the needs for the proposed project to:

Next steps

57. Participants agreed on the following list of steps that should be taken as follow up to the Workshop.

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