The construction and implementation of fishing policies requires dialogue and a close relationship with representative fishers associations, to induce intervention processes that should allow to meet the challenges of a bottom-up policies implementation that take notice of empirical and traditional knowledge. In this context, Academia plays important roles where small-scale fishers find support, although still few researchers developing studies and researches on social and economic issues related to small-scale fisheries.
Such commitment allowed knowing more the way which fishers struggled to have rights to resource management, once engagement was ultimately the extent to which management rights coincide with fishers’ power and involvement in decision-making, although only some directly engage. Many fishing arrangements aims at providing fishers with proper rights to resource management, the way in which the majority of fishers do engage in management, because specific mechanisms were develop to facilitating their participation, as formally created or long-established informal traditions tacitly recognized by the Government, although fishers themselves do not participate personally, and they do so through fisher representatives or formal fishing organizations.
Such arrangements, in some way or another, worked as standing committees supporting small-scale fishing villages and communities to deal with recent disasters and outbreaks, with active participation of small-scale fisheries representatives, and last March they published an open letter calling for action, signed by more than 400 institutions, movements and researchers. The result was the establishment of an observatory which functions as a political platform for claims and training, an important active network to support SSF, known as Grupo Observatório dos Impactos do Coronavirus nas Comunidades Pesqueiras (Observatory Group of Coronavirus Impact on Fishing Communities) created during the COVID-19 Pandemic by the Federal University of Bahia and the Pastoral Council of Fishers, aiming at bringing leaders together to centralize data and disseminate information and serve as an emotional assistance to these communities, being composed by civil societies organizations representatives and research institutions. The Observatory collects and disseminates information about Covid-19 on SSF in a blog (https://observatoriocovid19pescadores.blogspot.com/), using Google Forms and Apps, and the reports are grouped together and released at the end of the day, in the Daily Bulletin. And they also serve as a basis for the wider epidemiological bulletin of fishing communities, released at a weekly-basis.
Dr. Sérgio Mattos