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Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries
in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication

History

The Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines) are the first international instrument dedicated entirely to the immensely important small-scale fisheries sector.

They are the result of a long and intensive global bottom-up consultative process. Between 2011 and 2014 this process, based on the recommendations of the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Sessions of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) and carried out by strong support from small-scale fisheries civil society organizations (CSOs), involved:

  • More than 4 000 participants: representatives of governments, small-scale fishers and fish workers and their organizations, regional organizations, researchers, development partners and other relevant stakeholders.
  • More than 120 countries.

The outcomes of this process provided the basis for the work of an FAO Technical Consultation, which met in May 2013 and February 2014, convening FAO members to review and negotiate the final text. The SSF Guidelines were endorsed by the Thirty-first Session of COFI in June 2014: a date that represents a major achievement, giving all of us a fundamental tool to secure sustainable small-scale fisheries and enable the sector to contribute to eradicate hunger and poverty.