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


Aquatic food products from small-scale fisheries are a key source of nutrition and livelihoods for many Namibians, especially in areas near inland water bodies. Due to the proximity of Namibia’s coastline to the very productive fishing grounds of the Benguela Current system, a growing number of small-scale fishers and harvesters is frequenting the coastal areas to fish as a source of food, livelihood, and income; to harvest seaweed to trade for the pharmaceutical and animal feed industries; and to collect shells for cultural artifacts. An even larger number of small-scale fishers and fish workers are concentrated in inland small-scale fisheries (near rivers, dams and flood basins) and rely wholly or partly on aquatic products as a primary source of nutrition.

To enhance the contributions of small-scale fisheries to national food security and nutrition, FAO implements two parallel projects: 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), and the project named “Creating an enabling environment for securing sustainable small-scale fisheries”, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

Under the FMM project and in collaboration with the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, FAO is making considerable efforts to support the social development of small-scale fishing communities in the areas of food security, nutrition and social protection, by developing appropriate materials and, through a multi-sectoral national task team, creating awareness on the inclusion of aquatic food products in children’s and learners’ diets. In addition, efforts are being made to promote school feeding programmes that include locally sourced aquatic products. To better support small-scale fisheries actors and their organizations, FAO is reviewing existing social protection arrangements for small-scale fishing communities and organizations, to inform the development and piloting of more suitable arrangements that effectively address their needs.

In addition, the FMM project also focuses on enhancing the capacities of small-scale fisheries actors in Namibia, which is being done on two levels. First, the project provides small infrastructure and services at different landing sites and training in improved fish processing and preservation techniques, with the hope of increasing revenues and reducing post-harvest losses. Second, support is given to women-led small-scale fisheries organizations, to enhance their organizational capacities and facilitate their effective representation and participation in relevant decision-making processes.

Under the SIDA project, which runs in parallel with and complements the FMM project, FAO concentrates efforts to support the development and launch of Namibia’s National Plan of Action for Small-Scale Fisheries (NPOA-SSF), with the objective of identifying the main gaps and challenges that hinder the sustainability of the subsector, and opportunities and lines of action to overcome them.

Learn more about the SIDA project. 

Learn more about the FMM project.