Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

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.