Small-Scale Fisheries between Tradition and Modernity – Addressing Poverty Alleviation, Food Security and Social Development through the Lens of Human Rights and Dignity (Academic Panel)

At the end of a three-year long bottom-up international consultation animated by UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and involving some 4000 participants in a series of workshops and conferences around the world, the “Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication” (SSF Guidelines) was adopted in 2014 in a landmark decision. While still often neglected and even marginalised, the SSF Guidelines recognize the important role that small-scale fisheries play in local food security and international trade. Their aggregated global production – predominantly for human consumption – has in fact tripled over the last five decades according to latest research of the Sea Around Us Project, while industrial output is steadily falling since the mid-1990s.

The implementation of the SSF Guidelines is now ongoing, and is being followed by the international research and networking project “Too Big to Ignore” about small-scale fisheries ( The project offers several research clusters for investigating different aspects of the SSF Guidelines. Among others, it invited a number of academics and practitioners to write chapters about their research findings and analyses related to sections of the SSF guidelines. The resulting book, titled “The Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines: Global Implementation”, is to be published in June 2017 by Springer. The book will form the core of the panel presentations and discussions, which will address issues related to participation and empowerment of men and women operators in the small-scale fisheries sector – this as a way to address poverty alleviation and food security challenges within a framework of sustainable development and human rights and dignity. Among the specific dimensions in the SSF Guidelines that will be focused, are the governance of tenure in small-scale fisheries and resource management, social development, employment and decent work; value chains, post-harvest and trade, gender equality, disaster risks and climate change.

The panel will also address the SSF Guidelines in relation to other international instruments, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were adopted the UN’s General Assembly in 2015, and which like the SSF Guidelines stress the need for a combined focus on environmental, economic and social dimensions on human well-being. This will be further enriched by developments arising from researching and promoting geo-ethics in the anthropocene, thus connecting the challenges and opportunities of small-scale fisheries with other global issues.

Prof. Svein Jentoft, University of Tromsø, Norwegian College of Fishery Science
Nicole Franz, Fishery Planning Analyst, with focus on small-scale fisheries, FAO
Dr. Martin Bohle, European Commission, Adviser to the Deputy Director General, and International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Dr. Cornelia E Nauen, President, Mundus maris – Sciences and Arts for Sustainability

Dr. Aliou Sall, Vice-President, Mundus maris – Sciences and Arts for Sustainability
Dakar, Senegal

Prof. Svein Jentoft, University of Tromsø, Norwegian College of Fishery Science
Dr. Cornelia E Nauen, President, Mundus maris – Sciences and Arts for Sustainability