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Marine Small-Scale Fisheries, Food Security and Poverty Alleviation

Around 90% of the 35 million people recorded globally as fishers are classified a small-scale and a further 20 million people are estimated to be involved in the small-scale post-harvest sector. In addition, there are millions of other rural dwellers involved in seasonal or occasional fishing activities that are not recorded as "fishers" in official statistics. Women are heavily involved in processing and trade of fish and fish products from small-scale fisheries. When numbers of fishers and fish workers are combined with those involved in activities supplying inputs to fishing and post-harvest activities and their household dependents, it is likely that more then 200 million people worldwide depend in some part on small-scale fisheries for their livelihood. These people include many millions who live in remote rural areas, especially in Asia and Africa, where there are few alternative sources of income and employment offering significant potential to contribute to livelihood strategies.

The Twenty-sixth Session of COFI recognized the special importance of small-scale fisheries, and noted the importance of measures suggested in the recently drafted Technical Guidelines on Enhancing the Contribution of Small-Scale Fisheries to Poverty Alleviation and Food Security, including the better integration of small-scale fisheries into national development and poverty reduction strategies and their empowerment through the strengthening of fishworkers' organizations, communication and capacity-building.

Marine small-scale fisheries and the FishCode-STF Project

The new Technical Guidelines will form the starting point for FishCode-STF Project activities related to marine small-scale fisheries. These activities will include:

  • Awareness raising on the importance of marine small-scale fisheries through brochures and a specially designed web site.
  • Defining information requirements for monitoring marine small-scale fisheries through desktop studies and regional workshops.
  • Development and field testing of adapted cost effective monitoring systems for marine small-scale fisheries, encompassing socio-economic and ecosystem parameters and employing rapid appraisal methods.
  • Elaboration of monitoring system guidelines.
  • Development of stakeholder consultation mechanisms.

The FAO FishCode-STF WorldFish Center Workshop on interdisciplinary assessment of Small Scale Fisheries

In September 2005, FishCode-STF and the WorldFish Center held a stakeholders workshop on the role of small-scale fisheries in food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable resource use and develop simple and appropriate methods for collecting data in such fisheries.

Go to FAO WorldFish Center Workshop

Small-scale fisheries

Marine small-scale multi species fisheries

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