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11.11.2013 - 03.12.2013

Implementing the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries

Following the recommendation of the 29th Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI), FAO engaged in a consultative process to support the development of an international instrument for small-scale fisheries. The text of this instrument, the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines), is now being negotiated by FAO member states with the intention to present a final document to COFI in 2014 for approval.

While the official endorsement of the SSF Guidelines of course is of critical importance, the real challenge lies in their implementation: the SSF Guidelines will only become effective if their provisions are put into practice. Accordingly, the 30th Session of COFI ‘agreed on the need to develop implementation strategies for the SSF Guidelines at various levels’. The SSF Guidelines implementation will be a collaborative undertaking that requires concerted efforts by all to be successful.

The FAO SSF Guidelines Secretariat is committed to continue the promotion of collaboration and engagement by all stakeholders. We would hence like to invite you to this e-consultation to share your experiences and views on how the SSF Guidelines could be implemented effectively following their adoption by the FAO Committee on Fisheries in June 2014. The outcome of the e-consultation will provide inputs for the FAO Secretariat to draft a holistic and inclusive global assistance programme taking your lessons learnt, best practices, plans and expectations into account. The e-consultation will also allow for a broad based sharing of knowledge and experiences among partners and stakeholders to support effective implementation of the SSF Guidelines. 

TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION

We would like to hear your experiences and views with regard to three related topics:

  1. Partnering for implementation – roles of different actors and stakeholders
  2. Information and communication – promoting experience sharing and collaboration
  3. Challenges and opportunities – needs for support and interventions

With a view to inspire discussion, some questions and initial thoughts and guiding questions on these three topics are presented below. Background information and links to relevant documents related to the SSF Guidelines, their context and the process by which they have been developed, are also given.

We look forward to your insights and contributions and thank you in advance for your time!

The FAO SSF Guidelines Secretariat

ISSUES AND QUESTIONS

  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?
  • How can partnerships be fostered and strengthened to include the ‘voices of the marginalized?
  • What will be required at local, national, regional and global levels to ensure effective and efficient partnerships?
  1. 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?
  • What are your experiences from participatory monitoring and evaluation?
  • How can progress in implementing the SSF Guidelines be measured and reported in a useful way?
  1. 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?
  • What are your experiences of addressing these types of challenges and what have been successful or unsuccessful strategies and approaches?
  • 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)?

This discussion is now closed. Please contact fsn-moderator@fao.org for any further information.

Shannon Eldredge Cape Cod Community Supported Fishery, United States of America
03.12.2013
Shannon

ISSUES AND QUESTIONS

  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?
    • Connecting policy change to seafood justice & sovereignty. The two go hand-in-hand, and we help bring consumers to that arena by building programs and awareness campaigns that they can participate in.
  • How can partnerships be fostered and strengthened to include the ‘voices of the marginalized?
  • The marginalized voices are strengthened by supporters from a broad range of industries around fishing. Work with those who are allies of small-scale fishers to help in awareness campaigns, policy making, programs.
  • What will be required at local, national, regional and global levels to ensure effective and efficient partnerships?
  1. 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?
    • Bottom-up, transparent communication through all channels is essential.
  • What are your experiences from participatory monitoring and evaluation?
    • Take into consideration what kind of organizations are doing the evaluations. How do their values compare to those that are being portrayed in their reports? Are monitors and evaluators employing objective methods to their assessments.
    • The threat of having fishermen pay for observers and monitors on board their vessels for the purpose of evaluating stocks is potentially damaging to that day’s earnings. So, monitoring of progress of these guidelines during fishing time should be completely paid for by grant-funded, objective partners who will not interfere with the wages or earnings of fishermen when they are working.
  • How can progress in implementing the SSF Guidelines be measured and reported in a useful way?
  • Fund organizations like Slow Fish, which have building networks of small-scale fishers internationally, to develop modes of communication that can be funneled to FAO.  Measuring progress is specific to the communities being observed, because different nations, different fisheries are at different stages in their development of programs, or destruction of ecosystem, or even just definitions of status quo. From each community participating in observations, there should be folks developing methods of measuring progress, and they should be in communication with folks from other communities around the world to glean ideas about how to monitor & report.
  1. 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 commitment and revisions of legislation/regulations.
    • They could be overcome by transparency to the public on how policies are supported by the government, and in the process of creating those regulations. Also, small-scale fishers (individuals, not necessarily those “representing” certain NGOs who lobby for fishers) should hold office on committees and in councils to regulate and create policies that implement SSF Guidelines.
  • What are your experiences of addressing these types of challenges and what have been successful or unsuccessful strategies and approaches?
  • Experience has been a lot of resistance and corruption.
  • Unsuccessful strategies are trusting organizations that represent practices that are detrimental to small-scale, community-based fishing fleets.
  • Successful strategies are ones that have a keen ear toward independent fishers & crews whose survival incomes, daily livelihoods, could be directly impacted by major or minor policy shifts that implement SSF Guidelines.
  • Timeframes would vary drastically, as there are so many factors differentiating one community from the next, one fishery from the next, one nation from the next.
  • 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)?
Ratana Chuenpagdee Memorial University, Canada
03.12.2013

Implementation of the FAO Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines: The Step Zero

Submitted to the e-consultation by:

Ratana Chuenpagdee, Project Director Too Big to Ignore

Memorial University, Canada

ratanac@mun.ca

There have been many guidelines before this one; thus there is no need to treat it any different than others. The difference, however, lies in the hope and expectation of millions of small-scale fishing people and their families, small-scale fishing communities and those whose livelihoods and way of life are closely linked with sustainable small-scale fisheries (SSF), of what the guidelines, and the proper implementation, will bring. The key issue is therefore about responsibility. Once States agree that small-scale fisheries have important contribution to make and cannot be ignored, then it is within their mandate to evaluate current fisheries policies and align them with the guidelines. The big picture needs to be recognized, that given their number and actual and potential contributions to the society, any effort to support sustainable small-scale fisheries would likely have positive consequences to the overall national economy and the wellbeing of the nation.

The challenge is about what to implement, given the voluntary nature of the guidelines, and how to implement them in the most sensible way. Both the States and the community need to realize that progress is likely incremental in this case. Rectifying something that has been missing for a long time (e.g., appropriate policies, institutions and research to support SSF) is going to take time and the outcomes may be slow to happen. But there must be quite a few low-hanging fruits for the implementing group to choose from. Another advantage is the fact that the culture of stakeholder participation and multi-sector partnership has been fostered and embraced in many places around the world. New ways of thinking about how to manage the fisheries have emerged and the concept of governance has been employed in fisheries context. The condition is right for the implementation of the guidelines provided that the States are willing to do it, and are willing to look into making necessary policy changes in order to facilitate the implementation.

In the first instance, the implementation of the guidelines should be considered a participatory and interactive process, the way the guidelines have been developed. A multi-stakeholder body, with appropriate representation, including people knowledgeable about small-scale fisheries, should be established as a responsible entity to implement the guidelines. Similar to the Code of Conduct, some interpretation and contextualization of the guidelines may be required. Participatory process in this case implies also that those not directly responsible for the implementation should always be informed, consulted, and invited to contribute. The diversity, complexity and dynamic nature of SSF call for as much help at the local level as possible. Community members and groups interested in supporting SSF can also be drawn upon to help with the implementation. The same applies to research groups and academic institutions. An interactive process calls for the implementation to take advantage of any functioning existing local governing bodies, formal and informal, to the extent possible.  The stage has to be set, at the onset, that the implementation of the SSF guidelines is an opportunity to address issues of common interests, which, once addressed, can result into the betterment of the society at large. Attempts must be made to alleviate concerns that the guidelines may threaten the wellbeing of other economic sectors, including industrial fisheries. Any possible incompatibility between the existing rules and regulations and the new ones set in accord with the guidelines needs to be recognized and addressed upfront. All involved parties need to realize that it may still be possible to create space for SSF to become viable and sustainable. It does not always mean taking away access from one sector and giving it to SSF. Creative solutions and opportunities for synergies need to be explored, first and foremost. This is the case even though the reality is starkly different, e.g., SSF have long been politically and economically marginalized. Support the organization of SSF people locally, nationally and regionally, is among the first steps.

In effect, the implementation needs to begin from the ‘step zero’, meaning that all involved parties need to understand where the guidelines were coming from, what they intend to do, and that they had gone through a legitimate process before implementation. As to the post-implementation, while it is necessary that the implementation should lead eventually to achieving the long-term goals set out in the guidelines, the effectiveness of the guidelines should be measured, in the first instance, using the short-term goals set out by the States through the implementation committee. This allows for some contextualization, as well as innovation, to occur. Self-monitoring system may be more useful and practical than enforcement, for instance. Depoliticizing the implementation may be the best way forward. Opportunities to share lessons and exchange ideas among those involved directly and indirectly with the guidelines implementation should be created, through a regular process. SSF people need to know that it is not the States that will be held accountable for the implementation. They also need to take active role in it. Coordination of efforts at all levels, and with existing and new alliances and partnerships, will be required.

 

P McConney Barbados
03.12.2013
P

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.  

Regards,

Patrick McConney

patrick.mcconney@gmail.com

Mr. Adam Soliman The Fisheries Law Centre, Canada
03.12.2013
Adam

Reading the draft Guidelines has inspired The Fisheries Law Centre and its members. The Guidelines captured the interest of our members not only because FLC was founded specifically to fill a gap in the field of fisheries law, but also because FLC focuses on the livelihood of small-scale fisheries and coastal communities globally through ensuring they have meaningful access to justice. We believe that the success of the proposed guidelines will depend in part on whether SSFs enjoy meaningful access to the law. Historically, the legal community around the world has often helped to guarantee rights for a variety of marginalized groups. We will adopt the Guidelines in the spirit in which they were developed and incorporate their provisions which will no doubt resonate in our work for years to come. With that enthusiasm, we are delighted to participate in this consultation and look forward to playing an active role in the implementation process and beyond. 

Sincerely, 

 
Adam Soliman, MSc., JD, LLM 
Director, The Fisheries Law Centre
Websitewww.fishlaw.org
Tel: (778) 838 5505 
Address: 183 - 8623 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6P 5A2 Canada

 

Mr. gilles van de walle FARNET Support Unit, Belgium
03.12.2013
gilles

Key for the successful implementation of these guidelines is to foster ownership by local stakeholders. Benefits and added value of these guidelines have to be made clear to the final beneficiaries which in turn will be able to push their respective governments into action. At the same time, there is a need to secure political will in support of the implementation of the guidelines through highlighting potential political gains. The type of implementation will of course depend very much on the resources available, which will determine the possible levels of intervention.

1  Partnering for implementation

The European network for fisheries areas (FARNET, www.farnet.eu) has been facing similar challenges for the past few years in the implementation of the local development initiative of the European Fisheries Fund (Axis 4). The main tasks of the network have been to on the one side build capacity of administrations and local stakeholders at various levels (national, regional, local) to help understanding and effective implementation of the initiative. On the other side, FARNET has been instrumental in sharing experiences across the various local development projects, in order to avoid the downfalls of localism (isolation, duplication of initiatives and reinventing the wheel) and facilitate peer learning. Networking at various levels should be considered as a key element of the implementation of SSFG as it allows for mutual learning while fostering a sense of belonging to a wider change making effort thereby increasing the legitimacy of all actors of the delivery chain. 

2 information and communication

Informing and communicating effectively on the benefits and added value of the guidelines for the small scale fisheries sector will be key to its success. Effective communication has to start early in the process as reaching out to any communication target takes time, let alone SSF which present specifically acute communication challenges. Given the wide diversity of the communities targeted in terms of culture, languages, level of education, beliefs, customs,… the communication strategy will have to be careful designed to allow for passing on a common message despite this diversity. One option could be to give specific importance to visual communication tools (infographics, videos) backed up with limited text to avoid translation costs becoming too heavy a burden (as all texts would need to be translated in local languages) and as well allowing to reach out to parts of the communities which present lower levels of literacy. These tools can be used to raise interest in local communities in the adoption of the SSF guidelines which should be a first step in the implementation process. Videos would be made for example on small scale fisheries communities which already benefit from following the SSSFG. Different angles and added value could be particularly stressed using different examples of sustainable small scale fisheries communities around the world. Place local people at the heart of these videos, avoid government officials and donors showcase.  As mentioned in Malta, one element all these communities have in common is that they have fishing at their heart and that fishermen from all over the world speak the same language. So if you want these SSFG to be understood in different fishing communities, use that language to convey the powerful message contained in these guidelines.  Another tip to ensure successful SSSFG implementation is to try to brand them into an “elevator speech” which can explain what they are and their added value in a limited timeframe in different contexts. A useful tool for coining effectively a message is to select a 3 words combination to describe what you are trying to do. Example of videos are available on our website (check particularly the intro video on Axis 4).

In terms of participatory monitoring and evaluation, again any system has to be designed before the start of the implementation process, and be designed around the main objectives of the programme. Robust yet simple indicators, with associated monitoring needs and possible methods for data collection should be devised from the onset. The rureval network of DG AGRI and the WorldBank CDD programme both have extensive experience in programme evaluation. Participatory evaluation requires strong capacity building at local level to be effective.

3 Challenges and opportunities

Implementation challenges will lie at different levels. The first challenge mentioned already under point 2 is to foster ownership at local level. Information and communication needs linked with this have been discussed above. Other needs relate to capacity building and improvement of social capital at local level for which a strong outreach component has to be built into the implementation process. The people in charge of the capacity building will need to have the local knowledge both in terms of cultural and linguistic skills to adapt to the very different local context and allow for the development of trust with the community. Training the local trainers will allow for ensuring some degree of coherence in the implementation process while ensuring the  adaptation of needs to the local context. Once local communities will have acquire the tools to start implementation of the SSFG they will be able to exert bottom up pressure on  their different levels of administrations in accepting the SSSFG as enabling framework for the SSD of fishing communities.

Second challenge will be to generate political uptake of the SSFG. Ideally as mentioned in the preceding paragraph the political level will respond to the demands stemming from the local level. But this is likely not to be sufficient with a clear need to actively work towards convincing decision makers of the added value of the implementation of the SFFG. Some specific outreach tools could be developed as well, which would put forward the elements which are closer to decision makers interests. Possible political gains such as the capacity of the SSFG to reduce/resolve conflicts at local level, to alleviate poverty , improve livelihood and well being,.. should therefore be highlighted.

Capacity building should also reach the administration in charge of managing the SSF issues in the various countries to avoid these officials being squeezed between the pressure from the political level and the demands from the local level. Basically technical assistance should be provided to all levels of the delivery chain, adapting the method and expertise for each level.

Third challenge is linked to the timeframe of the implementation of the guidelines which will require to dispose of a long term horizon perspective. Improvement in social capital at local level and generation of  political support takes time and efforts and requires trust to be build along the delivery chain. There is little point in initiating the process if the initial efforts cannot be sustained as all these efforts, capital and more importantly trust risks to be lost. To ensure as well that implementation is going in the right directions periodic reviews should be carried out to allow for adjustment of the intervention. 

Given the wide diversity of contexts and acute challenges faced by the implementation process of the SSSFG (reinforced by the economic crisis limiting the availability of funding sources), an option could be to start with sub regional programmes, targeting efforts on a few countries/regions which would allow to test implementation possibilities while limiting the initial risks. A certain critical mass still has to be ensured to allow for mutual exchanges and for experimenting with the implementations in a number of different contexts.

These were some initial throughts, condensed in a few paragraphs, happy to discuss further,

All the best

Gilles

 

UG Agricultural Economics Focus 2014 University of Guyana, Guyana
03.12.2013
UG Agricultural Economics

Sustaining Small Scale Fisheries through Value-Added Production

Guyana has a low coastal plain which is the focal point of agricultural production. Rice is one of the main agricultural products produced in this region. Rice production in Guyana consists of many small to medium scale farmers, who supply both domestic and export markets.

Fishery production also takes place on the coastal area, given our 459 km Atlantic coastal zone and extensive network of rivers. This is great for sea food production which consists of marine fisheries that include prawns, shrimp, sea bob and a variety of commercial finfish. There is a need for much research to extract other species existing within the zone.

Apart from sea food production, aquaculture is a growing industry. It is still in its developmental stages but has the potential to be propelled to develop once necessary steps are put in place. However, aquaculture has so far been a very lucrative. Aquaculture is an advantageous opportunity for rice farmers to diversify; studies have shown that aquaculture production is much more profitable than the rice production. With irrigation systems already in place for rice production, there is much scope and adaptability for aquaculture production. More so, the byproduct of their rice, rice bran,( used to feed tilapia, the main fresh water fish species produced in Guyana) is used for feed. Chicken starter is also used as a fish feed, and is readily accessible in Guyana.

 The Aquaculture can also be part be a diversification for the seafood companies, who would already have the facility and necessary systems in place for fish processing. These seafood companies can take advantage of this, and hence produce value added fresh fish products along with their sea food products. The seafood company to which the rice farmer sells aqua culture fish to can supply the rice farmer with sea bob, which is bountiful in Guyana sea fishing zone.

Initial investment needs capital. There is also need to put systems in place for production of value added products. Governments can help to promote value added production within this newly upcoming industry by implementing the needed credit policy and investing in the necessary research . This will help to ensure that the issue of limited investment is corrected by guaranteeing loans for fish production secure markets for their local producers and put system in place to protect them. The Guyana Small Business Bureau (GSBB) was granted a lump sum of cash to aid in the development of small businesses. It has the capacity of providing 40% of the needed collateral to access loans to start a business. This is an example of a credit policy that can mitigate some of the problems of accessing credit to invest in value-added production.    The Ministry of Fisheries, Crops and Lives stock (MFCL) manages, regulate and promote development of Guyana’s inland and marine fishery resources. MFCL can use their influence to provide extension services and research support to improve the methods and production practices of small scale fish farmers. There are a number of fisheries oriented groups who can benefit from training and implementation of value chain analysis, application of improved and new methods of production to strengthen weakness by collaborating with the Guyana school of agriculture, the government, and investors.  

With the aid of the right mix of government intervention, efficient use of natural resources, currently available infrastructure and value-added analysis, small scale fisheries would be a sustained venture within the Guyanese Market.  

agri econs5 University of Guyana, Guyana
03.12.2013
agri

How to coordinate activities so that Partnerships and cooperatives are effectively implemented?

Fish stocks are becoming limited and the climate is changing. These two major problems raise a high level of concern for both people and governments of developing countries. People in developing countries depend mostly on the fishing industry to provide food for them. Fish provides a source of protein, it is cheap and families could get easy access to it. Small-scale fishers, fish workers and their communities also others who depend on fish for their nutritional needs as well as all of us who enjoy eating fish and who believe in equitable development and a sustainable use of our global resources. Therefore we all have a stake in the future of smalls-scale fisheries – let’s work together to ensure that they have a secure and sustainable future.[1] Thus in order to sustain fish as a major competent of food security the following steps will have to be taken. First activities should be allocated to partners based on their mandate, capacity, experience and proximity to the target clientele/beneficiaries. This will increase chances of the benefits trickling down to the rightful targets and reducing the disappointment of the SSF Guidelines being another good policy document with no traceable outputs at community level. Second, raise awareness of the problems and steps that could be taken to solve the problem. Third, provide proper cataloguing and careful documentation to the public through media outlets such as television programs, radio, websites, newspaper and fliers as to the plans that will be undertaken to solve the various problems pertaining to the fishing industry. The plans must be well detailed, outlining clearly the step by step process that will be undertaken to promote sustainability in the fishing industry. The fourth and final step is to educate fish workers about the advantages of enhancing the sustainability of the fishing industry. If people don’t understand why they must work together to sustain the fishing industry then all plans made will ultimately fail, persons will become uninteresting and lose focus because they do not see the advantages the plans have for the environment and thus the plans will be of no benefit to them. This is the most important step in sustaining the fishing industry.     


[1] Joshua Cinner and Tim McClanahan, (2013), Promoting collaborative management of small scale fisheries in the tropics.

 

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

In order to measure how the SSF guidelines would have been effective, targets can be set to show how food security would have increased or how poverty would have been reduced as a result of the guidelines. These performance indicators can be either qualitative or quantitative but mostly they should be qualitative since it easy to measure a quantitative change than a qualitative one. In addition there should also be a means of verifying that the actual changes are occurring. This verification can be done using surveys so that the data obtained in the survey can be compared with past data to show if food security would have improved or if poverty would have been reduced. Here fishery products per capita nutritional intake can be done. A disadvantage of this method is that this type of information is usually gathered through a House Budget Survey which is done every few years. Also an alternative to waiting on the next House Budget Survey is conduct a survey of your own which can be very expensive.

Additionally, in an earlier post we noted that one of the responsibilities of the CNFO is managing the sustainability of the fishing industry through NFOs which works in collaboration with fisherfolk organizations in each country. While addressing fishers’ complaints on a timely basis such as that of safety at sea and ensuring that sustainable fishing practices is done, management is also a key issue.  Such management can include the collection of data regarding the average amount of fishery resources extracted on a regular basis, say monthly. These NFOs should however ensure that small scale fishers are encouraged and educated on how to do some form of bookkeeping on, for example on a daily basis, of the quantity of fishery resources they would have sold. Being able to gather such information from these fishers would allow the NFOs of a country to have a better estimate of the improvement of the fishery sector by assessing the returns, thus the livelihood of small scale fishers and the nation as a whole.

 

 

Concern 3 University of Guyana, Guyana
03.12.2013
Concern

What will be required at the local, regional and global levels to ensure an effective partnership?

Small-scale fishing is much more significant than most people realize. Like small-scale agriculture, small-scale fishing is widespread and crucial to employment and food supply in innumerable communities in developing nations, where some 95 percent of all fishers ply their trade (FAO 2002a) quoted in (Yumiko, et al., 2004).

Raising awareness of the importance of small-scale fisheries is particularly relevant not only because these livelihoods depend on sustainable use of the natural resource base, but also because these fisheries provide vital local nutritious food and a safety net for many poor households in coastal communities in developing countries (World Bank, 2010).

In addressing the issues of communication among small scale fisheries one need to first address the issues by strengthening the political and economic rights of the small-scale fisheries actors, empowerment and capacity building. Fishing communities should have access to health, education and other social services. Their resilience needs to be increased – in general and with regard to natural disasters and climate change consequences in particular. It requires a focus on reducing vulnerabilities and promoting responsible fishing practices together with addressing social and economic development needs. While some experience exists from such integration of resource governance and social development, tools and methods still need to be developed in order that environmental, resource and community rights and sustainability are considered concurrently.

When it comes to ensuring an effective partnership at the local level strengthening local organizational structures help people to be represented and take part in decision-making processes. There is a need to work with communities to enhance their organizational capacity, building on existing structures and strengths. The focus should be on enabling individuals and institutions to effectively use their newly acquired capacity to address their priority needs. Also at the local level the evolving of women isimportant because about (47 percent) of women, mainly engaged in the post-harvest activities, handling the fish after it is caught and ensuring that this important source of nutrition reaches more than 1 billion consumers for whom fish is a key component of their diets (World Bank, 2010).

Moreover, an effective partnership at the regional level can be promoted by fostering a link between stakeholders NGOs and research institutions. These organizations often have specific skills in training extension, communication and research that can assist both government and communities with their responsibilities for fisheries management. These organizations can also help local managers formulate and evaluate their management plans by providing knowledge and advice and helping design and implement effective data collection systems. Other important related roles might include developing communication networks and facilitating information sharing.

Additionally at the global level ensuring an effective partnership can be implemented by supporting knowledge mobilization, leadership capabilities (of men and women), research partnerships and the use of effective communication tools (making use of new technologies and social media). Programs and networks for experience sharing and collaboration would aid in the context of strengthening existing organizations and ensuring that the necessary institutional structures and capacity are in place to secure sustainable small-scale fisheries. Also the need for empowerment through organizational development and collective actions is one of the key elements of SSF Guidelines implementation.

Further readings International Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries,2012.   Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

 

Challenges and opportunities – needs for support and interventions

 According to the FAO’s State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture Report 2012, more than ninety percent (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.

 

Svein Jentoft University of Tromsø, Norway
02.12.2013

Dear Sir or Madam

Please receive my contribution to the ongoing e.consultation on the implementation of the guidelines.

All the best,

Svein Jentoft
Norwegian College of Fishery Science
University of Tromsø
Norway

Dr. Ghazanfar Azadi Iran (Islamic Republic of)
02.12.2013
Ghazanfar

Dear Moderator,

In response to your request for comments, I would like to share the following:

Partnering for implementation

The implementation of the SSF Guidelines is very important and to implement it properly and effective, all countries and organizations in national, regional and international levels should have cooperation with each other in a good manner. In this step paying attention to local and international relevant factors such as governments, Fishing communities, CSOs, NGOs, fishing cooperatives and the leaderships of the fishing societies are very important because without cooperation and collaboration of these groups the implementation of the guidelines could not be successful .making a good structure for managing and monitoring of all activities in different levels is the main duty of FAO secretariat.

 In order to reach these achievements, we need to establish a standing committee related to SSF guidelines in high level and also national committees in the countries. The focal point in each country will be the secretariat of this committee and all of the related groups in national levels will manage and coordinate by the national committee. The relations between these committees and FAO secretariat are very important and FAO should support all of running activities in member countries and help them to solve their problems during the progress of this project.

Communication and Information - promoting cooperation and sharing of experiences
Countries to share experiences in implementing guidelines require different communication channels for all the members and stakeholders. This communication channels can be in special networking in cyberspace, identify focal points and contact persons in each country in order to make a two-way communications with the FAO Secretariat. In addition, the FAO should held annual and bi-annual meetings to find the progress of countries and reaching the achievements.

 

What kinds of interventions needs in the short, medium and long terms?

The most important interventions for implementing these guidelines in short, medium and long terms can be outlined as follows:
 - Describe guidelines for member states through regional and international fisheries management organizations.
- Allocation of credit by the FAO to hold meetings and workshops organized by national and regional organization
 – preparing an assessment questionnaire by the FAO in order to evaluate the progress of states in implementing the guidelines.

– Creation of a virtual space for sharing information and exchanging experiences of countries and resolve operational problems
 - Financial and technical support from FAO for translating the guidelines in nation languages and preparing some brochures to inform the  stakeholders specially  in developing countries
 -Implementing annual and bi-annual related meetings by the FAO Secretariat
 - Determination of Focal Point and contact persons in each country for following the instructions
The major challenges for the implementation of the guidelines

 – Inattention of  the decision makers to these guidelines and Failure to cooperate in this field
 – disagreement and challenge between decision-makers and stakeholders on how to implement the guidelines
 - Lack or shortage of funds required to implement these guidelines in developing countries
 - low literacy and illiteracy of fishing communities in developing countries and the lack of capacity in fishing cooperatives
 – The existing cultural and religious beliefs and attitudes in some fishing communities
 - inadequacy of national laws and regulations and lack of instruments for working in some countries and fishing communities.

-political and social problems in some of the countries which effect on implementation of the guidelines

 

Best regards,

Ghazanfar Azadi