Re: Implementing the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries

P McConney Barbados

I wish to share a few more perspectives from the Caribbean.

Partnering is already in progress to prepare for implementing the SSF Guidelines. An example is between the University of the West Indies, the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations and the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute at the regional/transboundary level. National level partnerships are also seen between fisheries authorities and fisherfolk organisations. There needs, however, to be more and much stronger collective action among fisherfolk groups across the region. These groups can accomplish quite a lot if they work together.

Communication to accomplish this collaboration and coordination is challenging due to language and other barriers including cost and low use of internet communication technology amongst fisherfolk. More emphasis needs to be placed on unleashing the power of communication. This includes making allies of the news media and similar organisations in order to influence public opinion and policy.

Challenges and opportunities both need to be approached strategically with well formulated plans that have stakeholder buy-in. The leaders of the fisherfolk organisations and allies need to encourage creativity. The success stories, no matter how small, need to be shared and celebrated. In order to maintain momentum there must be positive outlooks for the short, medium and long term. We must harness collective action for this.  


Patrick McConney