Contributions for Implementar las Directrices voluntarias para lograr la sostenibilidad de la pesca en pequeña escala

Harold Guiste Ministry of the Environment, Natural Resources Physical ...
FSN Forum

How do you see the role of your organization and others in the implementation of the SSF Guidelines?

The Fisheries Division (FD) of the Ministry of the Environment, Natural Resources, Physical Planning and Fisheries in Dominica is the government agency responsible for policy, management and development regarding fisheries.  The Fisheries Division is the lead agency for spear heading the implementation of the SSF. It is the agency which will gather and disseminate information to other stakeholders and institutions. The FD is designed for such tasks and has some level of technical capacity but lacks financial resources for effective implementation. There already exists some channels of communications and information dissemination mechanisms which could facilitate the process. Relationships and partnerships has already been established with other agencies, organizations and local institutions which can play a critical role in the implementation of the SSF.

  • The FD’s role is also for education and awareness of the SSF guidelines to the local fishing communities who are likely to be the most directly affected by this initiative. The FD is also responsible to taking this information to the Cabinet level and other government agencies such as Ministries of Legal Affairs, Finance, Physical planning , Private sector and NGO’s
  • The FD is responsible for integrating the SSF into local fisheries policy structures,  directions and adoption of same.
  • S likely to be responsible for promoting, initiating the legislative action, and enforcement of  fisheries laws and policies and must be a critical partner in the implementation of the SSF guidelines.

How can partnerships be fostered and strengthened to include the ‘voices of the marginalized?

  • One of the most effective ways of fostering partnerships to include the marginalized is through engaging Fisherfolk Organizations, Village Councils,  fisheries cooperatives and community groups in the discussions and decision making process and to ensure the functionality of such groups.
  • In Dominica there is the National Association of Fisher folk Cooperatives (NAFCOOP), which is an umbrella organization representing other local fisheries cooperatives. It also performs the role of an advocacy group for the fishermen and fishing communities. These groups can ensure that the voices of those most affected or impacted by the SSF guidelines will be involved. The lead agency is in the best position to ensure their involvement and participation  in the discussions and implementation of the SSF guidelines.
  • The individual national fisherfolk organizations need to be strengthened  and empowered through education and training and the provision of  means for gainful interaction.

What will be required at local, national, regional and global levels to ensure effective and efficient partnerships?

  • At the local level cooperation and collaboration among government agencies which can impact or influence the implementation of the SSF guidelines is necessary.
  • Various community groups need to be involved and informed about the guidelines. They need to know how their lives may be affected by those guidelines and what adjustments they may need to make to comply with the said guidelines. This is also necessary for voluntary compliance with the SSF.
  • At the national level the legislative framework will be required to be put in place.  Lawyers /consultants need to be employed to review existing legislation to ensure compatibility with the guidelines. The Division of cooperatives, legal affairs department, physical planning department and other relevant government agencies will need come together for effective partnerships.
  • Private sector and NGOs and the general public need to be involved in the discussions regarding the SSF to ensure broad participation and involvement.
  • The use of the internet and electronic media now allows the public to interact and make comments on issues of national interest and such should also be used at the national level.
  • At the regional level existing regional organizations such as the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organizations(CNFO) are absolutely necessary for implementation. The mechanisms for dissemination of information is already established and they feed into the national structures which will allow for a smooth flow of information and quick response to issues as they arise.   The regional perspective on this matter is also very desirable in terms of  financial resources mobilizations for the SSF.

Information and communication – promoting experience sharing and collaboration

What best practices with regard to communication would you recommend for SSF Guidelines implementation at local, national, regional and global level?

  • Communication Strategy at local level.: Town Hall meetings,  public village meetings, skits, electronic presentations and videos to promote voluntary compliance to some of these guidelines.  Use of existing locally established communication channels at the community level is of paramount importance.
  • National level:  Seminars, focus group discussions and education and awareness sessions using radio, television and internet.
  • Regional Level.  Radio and television programmes, websites and use of social media sites, Face book and twitter etc.  Meetings and conferences.
  • Global.  Website promotion and other electronic media.

What are your experiences from participatory monitoring and evaluation?

Monitoring should involve some level of collection of data on change of behavior over time, so that before and after changes could be scientifically recorded and be directly attributed to the intervention being made.

My experience is that this method of M&E  allows for stakeholders and resource users to be integrally involved in the implementation process and to point out short comings, identify unforeseen problems, use traditional knowledge to the benefit of the project  and to suggest corrective action themselves. There is transparency, greater buy in to the project and yields greater community benefit and satisfaction.

How can progress in implementing the SSF Guidelines be measured and reported in a useful way?

Set target values e.g. time frames, rates of expenditure of funds, level of awareness of persons, i.e determine what is to  be measured so as to give an indication of progress.

1. The extent to which Small- scale fishers and fishing communities  are aware of these guidelines.

2. The extent to which collaborating agencies or partnering institutions who can directly or indirectly  influence implementation are aware of the SSF.

3. Determine how many workshops, seminars, focus group discussions, radio programmes, website hits  etc have been held.

4. How many participants were involved in the seminars locally, nationally  and regionally .

5.  To what extent are the guidelines adopted into  national and regional fisheries policy ie. How many countries actually has the SSF or components of it in their policy structures.

6. The degree to which  the SSF has been approved and adopted by national governments. (very important). Or enacted into law.

7. Rate of expenditure of funds allocated.

Challenges and opportunities – needs for support and interventions . What do you think the main implementation challenges are, generally as well as in a specific country context, and how could they be overcome?

In the case of Dominica specific implementations challenges are ;

1. Endorsement of the guidelines in its entirety by the government will be a challenge  although some aspects of it could be acceptable

 2. Enactment of supporting legislation to give effect to the guidelines will be a great challenge based on past experiences. This is mainly due to the heavy work load of the Legal Affairs department of the Government.  To solve this problem a consultancy to draft the legislation and to ensure broad participation in the drafting process is critical.

3.  Institutional capacity to implement the SSF in a reasonable time frame is limited.  Poor organizational set up and lack of institutional preparedness and involvement  is one of the most  critical areas of poor project implementation in Dominica.  Therefore an implementation strategy should seek to build capacity and institutional strength through enhancement of community groups, understanding the social dynamics of fishing communities , strengthen linkages, partnerships  and foster collaboration with government agencies and NGOs as necessary. 

In addition to involving existing institutions, it is necessary to improve their functioning,  and enhance their organizational structures where necessary, to achieve desired  implementation goals and objectives.  This aspect of capacity building  and institutional development is critical for Dominica will also auger well for sustainability of the interventions to be made through the SSF.

4.  Limited financial resources is a definite challenge.  This is particularly so since in the first instance Government authorities may not be  immediately convinced to commit  budgetary allocations to this activity.  Therefore  sources of funding for implementation needs to be mobilized. Community groups, NGO’s and  fisher folk organizations will be severely challenged financially.

Lena Westlund and the FAO SSF Guidelines team Facilitators of the ...
FSN Forum

>> French and Spanish version below <<

Dear e-consultation contributors,

Our e-consultation is now concluded and I would like to thank all contributors for taking their time to post their thoughts and comments and to share their experiences. All these inputs are truly useful to us and will be considered in the FAO Secretariat’s work on developing a global assistance programme and related strategies for the implementation of the SSF Guidelines. We also hope that you have enjoyed reading the contributions from others and in this way deepened your own knowledge on small-scale fisheries – and perhaps made some new contacts for your continued work. 

The full proceedings will be posted shortly on this webpage (see right-hand column). You are of course welcome to contact us again directly ( and do keep a close watch for news on the SSF Guidelines at!

With many thanks and best wishes,

Lena Westlund and the FAO SSF Guidelines team

Chers participants à la consultation virtuelle,

Notre consultation virtuelle est close et je voudrais remercier tous ceux qui y ont contribué et qui ont pris le temps de nous communiquer leurs avis et commentaires et de nous faire part de leur expérience. Toutes ces contributions nous sont extrêmement utiles et seront prises en compte dans le travail mené par le Secrétariat de la FAO pour élaborer un programme d'assistance et les stratégies pertinentes à l'échelle mondiale visant à faciliter la mise en œuvre des Directives PAD. Nous espérons également que vous avez apprécié la lecture des contributions envoyées par les autres participants et que vous avez pu approfondir votre connaissance des pêches artisanales, et peut-être établi des contacts qui vous seront utiles dans votre action.

Le compte-rendu intégral sera bientôt publié sur cette page web (voir menu droit). Voous pouvez bien sûr nous recontacter directement à l’adresse Restez attentifs aux actualités relatives aux directives PAD sur le site!

Avec tous nos remerciements et salutations cordiales,

Lena Westlund et l’équipe des Directives PAD de la FAO

Estimados colaboradores de nuestra consulta electrónica:

Nuestra consulta electrónica ya ha concluido, y me gustaría dar las gracias a todos los que han colaborado por dedicar su tiempo a hacer públicas sus ideas y comentarios y compartir sus experiencias. Todas estas contribuciones son verdaderamente útiles para nosotros y serán tomadas en cuenta en el trabajo de la Secretaría de la FAO para desarrollar un programa de ayuda global y las estrategias asociadas para la aplicación de las Directrices para la pesca en pequeña escala (Directrices PPE). Esperamos igualmente que hayan disfrutado de la lectura de las contribuciones de los demás y de esta manera profundizado sus conocimientos sobre la pesca en pequeña escala, y tal vez, hecho nuevos contactos para continuar su trabajo.

Las actas completas se publicarán en breve en esta página web (véase la columna de la derecha). Le invitamos a ponerse en contacto con nosotros de nuevo directamente ( y a seguir de cerca las noticias sobre las Directrices PPE en

Con mi sincero agradecimiento y mejores deseos,

Lena Westlund y el equipo de las Directrices PPE de la FAO

Katrien Holvoet Belgium / Benin,
FSN Forum
  • Organise forum theatre to promote and spread the word about the Guidelines rather than to translate them
  • Film the theatre and spread the film with subtittling in a number of languages
  • Use local fishing community theatre skills to mount a local performance based on a scenario that would be written by the professionals for use and support with some funding national fisheries organisations to play the theatre piece in national events and in the communities at certain festivities

Katrien Holvoet- Belgium/Benin

Mr. Sergio Palma Servicio Nacional de Pesca y Acuicultura, Chile

Estimados, primero que todo muy buenos dias y mis disculpas por la fecha de los cometarios...Con respecto a ellos, puedo mencionar:

·       Mejorar  las  leyes para que para que se  limiten las intervenciones sobre la explotación,  sustentando el otorgamiento de cuotas y permitiendo las capturas,  solamente según  el comportamiento, la biología  y los patrones de las especies en PPE,  y por supuesto , respetando estrictamente los estudios científicos y las conclusiones que de estos resultan.

·       Invertir  en educación y difusión, en cuanto a la biología y comportamientos de las especies de la PPE, y capacitar  para que los pescadores puedan lograr  mayor valor agregado en las especies que capturan.

·       Aumentar impuestos,  según corresponda,  a  sectores que más  afecten a las especies que estén dentro de las pesquerías de PPE.

·       Identificar a los usuarios en una base de registros, los cuales dispongan de la habilitación de derechos pesqueros.

·       Establecer medidas de administración con vía a la sustentabilidad de los recursos.

·       Establecer medidas de control y fiscalización pertinente, para el resguardo de los derechos de aquellos autorizados v/s los no autorizados a la actividad extractiva.

·       Fortalecer la asociatividad de los pescadores artesanales de pequeña escala sin la intervención de agentes intermediarios.

·       Establecer las medidas sanitarias necesarias desde que se origina la pesca hasta la entrada a una planta transformadora, de igual forma los centros de cultivo, en especial en épocas de cosecha.

·       Establecer medidas sancionatorias que minimicen las malas conductas.

·       Establecer medidas de difusión a una pesca responsable al sector pesquero

·       Establecer capacitación a los usuarios con relación a sus derechos y deberes.

·       Exigir posicionador satelital a aquellas embarcaciones que operen sobre recursos altamente migratorios.

·       Exigir a toda nave industrial o artesanal el posicionador satelital que transgreda a aguas internacionales de modo que todos los países asociados sean capaz de identificarlos y que existan sanciones internacionales a las malas conductas

·       Implementar las caletas pesqueras con mejoras de infraestructura de modo motivar la participación de aquellos pescadores o personas que trabajen en ella no sean pescadores sin embargo operan para una embarcación artesanal ej. Encarnadoras.

·       Fomentar el desarrollo de pequeñas plantas de transformación o de mantenimiento de la pesca para el congelado de  modo que el recurso conserve de mejor forma su consistencias organolépticas hasta la venta.

·       Para todo lo anterior, se debe contar con una ley que establezca los derechos, fiscalización y sanciones, con una base jurídica que sea acorde y capacitada en los temas de pesca.


Saludos desde Chile..

Abbas Khaled INRA Algérie, Algeria

Madame, Monsieur

voici une courte contribution sur le cas algérien


Khaled ABBAS

Docteur d'état
Directeur de Recherche

Responsable scientifique Division Agro - Systèmes Est

INRA Algérie - station de Sétif



See the attachment:La pèche et l'aqua 1.docx
Katosi Women Development Trust , Uganda
FSN Forum

1.         Partnering for implementation

The implementation of the SSF Guidelines will require engagement and partnerships across different institutions, organizations and actors as the SSF Guidelines implementation does not only require the involvement by fishers but takes into consideration also the role and needs of those around them. Fishing communities, CSOs, academia, NGOs, governments, regional organizations, donors and international agencies and organizations all need to work together - but different actors may have different roles to play to address issues in relation to fisheries governance, gender, post-harvest, consumer interests, wider societal interests, etc. Please share any experiences, both good or bad as well as lessons learned related to partnerships in the implementation of international instruments

  • How do you see the role of your organization and others in the implementation of the SSF Guidelines?

On partnering for implementation, KWDT and other civil society organizations can create partnerships at the country level with the relevant ministries, CBOs and other actors in the fishing sector, to brainstorm, in form of workshops, on how the guidelines can be aligned with our local laws, policies and sector guidelines.

Most important is that KWDT and other similar organization are already working with rural communities and thus reach the most marginalized fisher communities, enabling integrating of the SSF implementation in the ongoing cso programs and enabling involvement of those at the risk of being marginalized out of the process.

CSO organization like KWDT can engage in the design of the SSF Guidelines implementation manual

  • How can partnerships be fostered and strengthened to include the ‘voices of the marginalized?

Measures need to be put in place that will facilitate inclusion of all to participate in decision making especially women. Holding consultation meeting in localities and in local languages, special consultation for women only, consultation on the processes of strengthening and including the marginalized so that they have a decision on how to make their voices heard.

Support, facilitation and strengthen civil society networks and their member organizations.

Put in place measures that will increase the contribution of civil society

organizations to the design of implementing the guidelines 

  • What will be required at local, national, regional and global levels to ensure effective and efficient partnerships?

At all levels measures have to be put in place to ensure effective and efficient partnerships that include

  • Access to financial resources that will support interaction and communication between partners.
  • Create an conducive environment for partnerships through – collaboration in the implementation of a capacity building programme for rural leaders  (Social movements, cso, ngos) with focus on women.
  • Support the establishment of the stakeholder’s platforms at various levels that are of mutual and complementary benefits.

2.    Information and communication – promoting experience sharing and collaboration

Continuous learning and sharing of experiences will be of utmost importance for effective implementation. Available lessons learnt, best practices and tools should be used and reinventing the wheel avoided, but at the same time the local context may differ to such a degree that specific tools and solutions must be developed. Monitoring of progress will be important to keep track of what is working (and what is not) and participatory monitoring and evaluation systems and relevant statistics can help making information available and shared.

  • What best practices with regard to communication would you recommend for SSF Guidelines implementation at local, national, regional and global level?

Use of the drama, community dialogues, will enhance communication and create awareness on the IG SSF. KWDT carries out community dialogues on WASH that empower community members to demand for improved service delivery from their leaders.

On information and communication, KWDT can work hand in hand with FAO country offices and the line ministry to disseminate the guidelines through sensitization meetings at the country and community level.

At the global level, the utilization of the global platform for fisher folk organizations; World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish workers, World forum of Fisher People, International Collective in support of fisher) will enable flow and sharing information.

  • What are your experiences from participatory monitoring and evaluation?

Participatory monitoring and evaluation creates ownership of results to the communities.

Establish measures of developing monitoring and evaluation approaches that are inclusive.

  • How can progress in implementing the SSF Guidelines be measured and reported in a useful way?

Measure of the progress of the implementation of the SSF guidelines should not only consider quantitative data but also qualitative data should be given due consideration.

Civil society organizations, like KWDT should have the opportunity to report back on the progress of implementing on the SSF Guidelines.

3.        Challenges and opportunities – needs for support and interventions

There will be implementation challenges (e.g. financial, political, institutional, cultural) to address but also opportunities to capitalize on. These may vary from one context to another and also differ between the global, regional, national and local levels. Understanding these challenges and opportunities will be important for identifying and designing support activities. The implementation of the SSF Guidelines will need a mix of different types of interventions, including – but not necessarily limited to – the strengthening of political commitment and awareness raising, changes in policies, revisions of legislation and/or regulations, development of capacity and empowerment, improving and sharing information, and strengthened research and communication.

  • What do you think the main implementation challenges are, generally as well as in a specific country context, and how could they be overcome?
  • Political influence and lack of political will at national level.
  • Illiteracy levels of each country will determine capacity of rural communities to understand, and generate interest in the implementation of the guidelines.
  • What are your experiences of addressing these types of challenges and what have been successful or unsuccessful strategies and approaches?

Strengthen civil society organizations at all levels to support and empower fisher communities.

  • How would interventions vary, depending on the time frame (e.g. what can be done within the next 12 months, in the next 5 years, in the long term) and depending on the existing resources (e.g. small/medium investments or large/transformative investments)?
  • The first intervention is to create awareness on the SSG
  • Translation and popularizing of the simplified manuals
  • Training leaders of social movements to enhance their capacity to mobilize fisher communities.
Michèle Mesmain Slow Food, Italy

Through the development of Slow Fish, an international network and campaign dedicated to responsible fisheries, Slow Food aims to:

  • Develop local messages to address the complexity of the issue, and help citizens become active and informed consumers (defined by Slow Food as “co-producers”).
  • Give value back to small-scale fisheries; a living heritage and asset of our societies, which retains the local knowledge and economic structures that can help to restore and maintain jobs in our coastal communities.
  • Recreate a direct link between fishers and consumers (which has been severed by recent distribution practices and the flow of cheap imports), and thus put fishers higher up in a responsible value chain.
  • Spread knowledge about the variety of existing species and the seasonality of seafood.
  • Highlight that oceans, lakes and waterways are a common resource that belong to us all, and are therefore a shared responsibility.

In order to do this we:

  • Facilitate the creation and development of local alliances - between fishers, chefs, researchers, consumers, farmers, local NGOs and CSOs - to find collective local responses to the challenges facing food production and environmental management, as well as the safeguarding of our cultures and identities.
  • Develop fun, tasty, participative and engaging activities, in ports, farmers’ markets, fishmonger shops, etc., as well as during national and international events, centred on dialogue, sharing of experiences and knowledge exchange, designed for children and adults alike.
  • Support diversification measures of commercial fisheries to protect fishers from the dependency on too few stocks or on a single uncertain activity.

Through our work, we have come to understand the absolute necessity of a constant dialogue between as many different stakeholders as possible, including local market drivers such as restaurants, or institutional markets such as hospitals, so that new creative value chains are built into the process from the start.

Stakeholders, even when they share a common interest, have different perspectives and use a different language to voice their knowledge and concerns. Slow Food hosted a workshop on the small-scale guidelines at the 2012 edition of our international event, Terra Madre, during which one strong point made by the participants was the necessity to change the language of the guidelines, currently suited for official administrations but not for the small-scale fishers it proposes to engage and protect. This might also foster a very much needed and lacking trust in international instruments.

Another point that our network’s fishers have highlighted, is that small-scale fishers do not want to be subsidized to be kept alive artificially; they want policies that restore and secure fair conditions for them to develop. Their vulnerable position was largely brought upon them by incentives and pressures that come with industrialization: to get more fish, to specialize in fewer species and to buy larger boats. The distinction between benevolent charity and fair conditions is important to them and needs to be reflected in the guidelines themselves, and during the implementation process in order to be successful in the long term.

The Slow Fish network also fully supports the points made by the CSO conformed by the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), the World Forum of Fisher Harvester and Fishworkers (WFF) and the World Forum of Fisher People (WFFP).

Slow Fish also strongly believes that no instrument will ever succeed if it does not promote total transparency at all levels from the start, including the funding of all actors involved, transparent feed back processes, and banning all closed door negotiations. Implementation of the guidelines must also take into account that intimidation and corruption practices are rampant on most continents when it comes to fisheries, a situation where transparency might help but may not be enough.

Ultimately, we believe that virtuous processes can be promoted by focusing on values, more than on the design of technical measures.


agri econs5 University of Guyana, Guyana

Importance of aquaculture in developing countries

Aquaculture -- also known as fish or shellfish farming -- refers to the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of plants and animals in all types of water environments including ponds, rivers, lakes, and the ocean.  Researchers and aquaculture producers "farm" a variety of freshwater and marine species of fish, shellfish, and plants.  Aquaculture produces food fish, sport fish, bait fish, ornamental fish, crustaceans, mollusks, algae, sea vegetables, and fish eggs.[1]

Aquaculture’s importance in the sustainability and its role in employment and food security are not to be understated in developing countries. Despite its significant growth rate (8.8 %) per annum, according to the “National Policy on Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture (October 2012)” there exists a huge potential for the exploitation of Guyana’s fresh water resources. “Aquaculture has proved itself to be an economically successful industry ever since it was first introduced and there are no signs that is will be weakening any time soon.  Meanwhile as the world population continues to grow, thedemand for fish increases annually, but at the same time capture fisheries have been unable to boost their total harvests since the late 1980's.”[2]

On the other hand, currently there exists a decline in the capture fisheries production globally. While capture fisheries in Guyana has experienced growth the focus needs to shift away from capture fisheries production to one of growth and sustainability most notably aquaculture. The high costs associated with the regulation, enforcement and overexploitation of a natural resource is a sub optimal use of our resources. It is of paramount importance for a solution which can achieve a pareto improvement for society to be pursued. The solution posited is aquaculture due to its high growth potential, sustainability and minimal environmental effects.

The importance of aquaculture in developing countries has mainly three dimensions; employment, nutrition and trade. Aquaculture provides employment for a growing number of persons and is not only restricted to the impoverished segments of society . It should be noted that the role of women has evolved from their traditional role in the household to being a part of the production and packaging processes of the industry. This ties into the millennium development goals (MDGs) more specifically the aspect of empowering women. The role of aquaculture is important in boosting the production of fish for domestic consumption as demand globally has risen resulting in higher prices. Addressing food security aspects such as availability and access to food across the population are important in reducing poverty and hunger. Finally, the last dimension trade is of utmost importance to developing economies. The transformation of a primary sector to a manufacturing sector, i.e. the fostering of value added production is crucial to economic development if developing countries are serious of becoming a developed country one day.

In conclusion, the lack of awareness and focus on aquaculture in comparison to the capture industries of the world can lead to devastating environmental and food security issues in the near future. With a growing demand for sea food products there can only be two scenarios: aquaculture becomes a major industry or overfishing prevails and the world is left worse off.



The goal of the SSF guidelines is to secure and sustain small-scale fisheries thereby providing sufficient resources and protection to enable better quality of food through the healthiest form of protein – fishes and ensure food security for the poor at cheaper prices and easier access. How then can partnerships be fostered and strengthened to include the “voices of the marginalized”?

In order to foster and strengthen partnerships to include or make connection with the marginalized or poor, partnerships must be properly educated in that they must have knowledge on the type and society of persons in which they are dealing with simply because persons in the fish sector who provides for society and their individual homes are less educated and may be illiterate in different aspects. Beginning with this, will further lead to improved access to food as well as food security.   

How can progress in implementing the SSF Guidelines be measured and reported in a useful way?

When the SSF guidelines are implemented, the relevant authorities will adopt and activate the SSF regulations/ policies in order to improve the state of the fish sector as well as the poor and their inability to access food.

In order to measure the progress of such an implementation, the level of investment and increased percentage of welfare on small scale fisheries can be used which should be reported to the authorities or any other relevant forum of which there should be a parallel reporting process from the civil society to the state and vice versa.  

This will be very useful in the coordination of the civil society, the authorities and the fish sector in its attempt to provide fish as a form of protein and food to the poor – yet another way of ensuring food security as well as better access to food.

Concern 3 University of Guyana, Guyana

Challenges and opportunities – needs for support and interventions

According to the FAO’s State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture Report 2012, more than 90% of all capture fishers are operating in the small-scale sector, with women playing a key role in post-harvest activities. The livelihoods of about 357 million people, primarily in developing countries, depend on the sector which often constitutes a fundamental way of life as well as an important economic activity. These guidelines establish principles and criteria for the elaboration and implementation of policies and strategies for the enhancement of small-scale fisheries governance and development. It also provides practical guidance for implementation of these policies and strategies. However, theses guideline are subject to challenges as it regards to the implementation process.

Meeting present and future food needs, ensuring environmental integrity and providing income and employment in the fishery sector is a balancing act given the finite productive capacity of resources and a complex challenge given the uncertainty over this productivity. However, addressing these issues is what makes governance possibly the most complex of the challenges. There are potentially many stakeholders who may wish to gain access to, or control over fisheries resources or influence management decisions. These  individuals and groups may have very differing views of what sustainability is, based  on their world views and attitudes to risk, and therefore what sorts of priorities, decisions and outcomes would be appropriate for a fishery.

Due to poverty and vulnerability, small-scale fishing communities may lack the incentives to participate in resource management and these aspects of poverty need to be addressed first, or simultaneously. Appropriate incentive structures (institutional, legal, economic, and social) are needed to enable small-scale fishing communities to sustainably manage the aquatic resources they and future generations depend on for their well-being without jeopardizing their social and economic development.

It is important to create opportunities for exchange of views among stakeholder groups to learn from each other. Accordingly, for both implementation and monitoring along with the development of capacity at all levels, appropriate institutional arrangements are required, including partnerships for policy formulation and involvement of grassroots level organizations. Partnerships among all stakeholders are critical for this process. Many opportunities for establishing and strengthening these partnerships already exist and given financial and human resource constraints, existing platforms and institutional arrangements should be used for this purpose. Fisheries agencies for example could interact with peers in other countries and regional organizations (e.g. in Africa, NEPAD Sub-regional Fisheries Commission, in Asia, SEAFDEC, ASEAN, SPC etc.) could play a critical role in facilitating regional, sub regional and national implementation strategies and plans focusing on the issues pertinent to the specific regions and countries.

 In the Philippines for example, the Fisheries Code endorses the establishment of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Councils, formed by fisheries organizations, cooperatives and NGOs at the national, municipal and village level, which are mandated to carry out a number of advisory functions in close collaboration with the local government units. Existing inter-sectoral processes and collaborative arrangements such as for climate change adaptation, coastal zone management or socio-economic development and planning at different level are other potential entry points.

FURTHER READINGS: Toward sustainable fisheries management by M.R.A.G.

Supporting instruments for the Implementation of small fisheries guidelines

A key starting point in establishing a sustainable platform can be capacity building of users within targeted zones. By zones we mean fishing areas where several communities or tribes derive their living. Training and education organized through private public partnership can serve as instruments to sensitize users of risks associated with poor practices relative to that of a sustainable behavior. Education in this context of sustainability needs to be mindful of the user background especially in developing countries (DC). Many fishers in DC are so by possibly culture or socialization. Hence, terms such as open access, replenishing rate, depletion and so on may have little value. This form of education must be specialized so that the issues are clearly understood. In addition, information dissemination through technological sources where possible can also provide a ready source of prompt response to users with uncertainty regarding usage of these zones. Training will target best practices.

Odusina identified the role of advocacy as a critical component in supporting the implementation of voluntary guideline of SSF. However, by extension, the nature of advocacy should also focus on empowering citizens not only for change but to enforce change. This enforcement capacity has been the weakness of several types of implementations whether it be laws or otherwise. Therefore, to ensure cohesion between guidelines and practice capacity needs to be built so that enforcement is achievable. When enforcement is possible, accountability across all levels becomes a realistic objective.

One of the engines to support the implementation process is partnerships. By partnerships we mean lobbying governments in DC to provide an enabling environment for the Private Sector, NGO, Civil Society, FBO and other organization to freely participate in the process of implementation. Legislative protection must also be part of this partnership framework. It would be difficult for some of these groups to work effectively in potentially challenging environment without a sense of protection. It is natural for people to try to circumvent at some point, rules they may have agreed to sometime in the past. Therefore legislative enactments serve as a deterrent motivating factor.   

Finally, to achieve optimal compliance some form of verification and monitoring should be established. Where zones require the use of small boats licensing, would be insufficient to influence operators to adhere to these rules since a cost may be imposed. Therefore to the extent whereby deviation of standard practice is observed a form of corrective measure should be applied to ensure that norms are upheld.