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

Small-scale fisheries key facts

   120 million people work directly in commercial capture fisheries, 97%
   of these people live in developing countries
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Small-scale fisheries

Small-scale fisheries represent a diverse and dynamic set of activities that include various traditional low-technology, low-capital fishing methods, as well as fish processing and marketing, boat building and net making.

Small-scale fisheries tend to be strongly anchored in local communities. For many small-scale fish workers, fisheries represent a way of life; with hundreds of millions of rural people in developing countries depend on fisheries for their livelihood.

Small-scale fisheries make a critical contribution to nutrition, food security, local livelihoods, national economies and poverty alleviation – especially in developing countries. Despite their importance, many small-scale fishing communities continue to be marginalized, and their contribution to food security, nutrition and poverty eradication – which benefits both them and others – is not fully realized.

The SSF Guidelines

The SSF Guidelines were developed to address the multidimensional poverty that exists in small-scale fishing communities, a reality that often tends to be inadequately addressed.The SSF Guidelines are a tool to support the eradication of hunger and promote sustainable development; they guide dialogue, policy processes, and action at all levels to enhance food security and eliminate poverty by securing sustainable small-scale fisheries.

Now FAO Members and partners must implement the SSF Guidelines!

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