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


Small-scale fishing activities are deeply rooted in Ghanaian culture and are a key source of livelihoods and nutrition, both in coastal and riparian areas of the country. It is estimated that the small-scale fisheries sector in Ghana employs over 90 percent of total marine fishers in the country. Equally important is the contribution of inland small-scale fisheries: it is estimated that Lake Volta alone provides livelihoods for about 300 000 people in riparian areas. Despite this, changes are needed to enhance the contributions of small-scale fisheries.

Under the project titled “Implementing the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines for Gender-Equitable and Climate-Resilient Food Systems and Livelihoods”, funded by the Flexible Multi-Partner Mechanism (FMM), FAO is collaborating with the Food Research Institute of Ghana to increase the average per capita consumption of aquatic products among children, by promoting the inclusion of aquatic food products sourced from national small-scale fisheries value chains in school feeding programmes in six different regions.

Food loss and waste are widespread issues in some small-scale fisheries value chains in Ghana. To overcome this, the FMM project is leading multiple activities in the country, including developing a gender-sensitive methodology for assessing fish loss and waste, and establishing four training centres to provide training and capacity building on processing and preservation methods and hygienic post-harvest practices.

Another challenge faced by many small-scale fisheries actors is the lack of effective participation and representation in relevant decision-making processes. To help address this, FAO is supporting existing small-scale fisheries women’s organizations, while also backing the establishment of new ones in areas where representation is particularly low. Similarly, under the project entitled “Creating an enabling environment for securing sustainable small-scale fisheries”, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, FAO is further supporting these organizations by conducting capacity assessments and providing capacity development based on the results obtained.

Learn more about the FMM project.