Small-scale fisheries around the world
Similar issues faced in different regions
The small-scale fisheries sector, including fishing and fish farming, is estimated to employ some 37 million people, of whom around 90% are in Asia. An additional 100 million people are estimated to find employment in associated activities. Many more people are involved in part-time or seasonal fisheries activities, and the benefits of fish consumption are much more widely significant around the world. While the fish species involved, vessels and fishing methods, and management approaches vary widely around the world, and within particular regions, many of the resource use, community impact and policy issues are similar.
Likewise, the constraints and challenges have strong similarities. Experiences and development approaches can therefore be compared and shared, and local particularities can be linked with the more general best practices which emerge from this exchange.
Within almost all regions, the role of Regional Fishery Bodies is an essential element in fisheries management, particularly where shared stocks and fishing activities are involved. While these have often tended to focus on the industrial sector and on international fishing access, the importance of small-scale fisheries in resource use and in social and economic impact is becoming more strongly recognized, and entering more explicitly into policy and management approaches.
At an international, intergovernmental level also, conventions, accords and strategic policy development in diverse themes are also increasingly embracing or even targeting small-scale fisheries and their dependent communities.