ICSF Thematic Campaigns

ICSF campaigns address four themes: Food Security, Blue Economy, Tenure Rights and Climate Change. These are interrelated themes with varied implications for the lives and livelihoods of Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF) communities. They require the engagement of fishworkers’ organizations from across the world.

The campaigns build upon the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines), endorsed by FAO Committee on Fisheries (FAO COFI) in 2014. They carry forward the achievements of 2022, observed as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA). Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, IYAFA-2022 is a milestone in the efforts to recognize and highlight the contributions of SSF to global food security, environmental sustainability and well-being.

IYAFA-2022 brought much-needed visibility to the sector in international processes on sustainable development, marine and aquatic biodiversity and climate change. It highlighted the livelihoods, rights and contributions of SSF, including the diverse women, men, communities and organizations at the heart of the sector. Yet they need greater attention, particularly in the face of rapid changes in the use of terrestrial, aquatic and marine resources.

ICSF will draw the attention of policymakers, civil-society and other stakeholders to the need for inclusive policies and programmes in support of the SSF sector. It will do this through its international research, documentation, advocacy, stakeholder consultations and workshops.

Ongoing activities under these campaigns provide opportunities to collaborate with diverse fishworker and civil society organizations in support of SSF. They can influence global, regional and national processes, showing the SSF sector’s contributions to food security and nutrition. They can ensure the maritime (‘blue’) economy is inclusive and sustainable. They can secure the rights of fishing communities to marine resources and coastal habitats. They can promote the active participation of SSF in efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Current Programmes

Food Security

Small-scale fisheries (SSF) play a unique—frequently hidden—role in assuring nutrition and food security in today’s world. This is even more important for the future. As FAO points out, more than two billion people, a quarter of the world’s population, are food insecure. ‘Zero hunger’ continues to be an important Sustainable Development Goal. Provided adequate support, SSF will continue playing this.... For more:

Justice in the Blue Economy

Blue Economy is an omnibus term for all economic sectors with a direct or indirect link to the ocean. In 2016, OECD projected that by 2030, the Blue Economy could outperform the growth of the global economy as a whole. In various formulations, this includes both old uses of coastal and marine resources (food provisioning, marine transport and infrastructure, energy production, extraction and tourism) and emerging industries (for example, marine biotechnology, seabed mining and carbon sequestration)... For more:

Tenure Rights

The campaign for Tenure Rights seeks a balance between equitable development of fishing communities and the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources on which they depend. The SSF Guidelines make it clear that secure tenure rights to the fishing grounds, to land and other resources form the basis for the social and cultural well-being of fishing communities.... For more:

Climate Change

The impacts of climate change on fisheries and fishing communities cannot be ignored any longer. Recent reports of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) extensively describe the effects of rising carbon emissions on marine ecosystems and fisheries. Moreover, small-scale fisheries (SSF) are constantly having to adapt to pollution and degraded ecosystems, even as they strive to reduce the footprint of overfishing. The environmental and economic impacts of climate change have been well documented. ICSF’s campaign will seek to study and communicate the social consequences of these changes on fishing communities. It will develop guidance specific to the SSF sector... For more:


Report of Workshop on Emerging Concerns of Fishing Communities: Issues of Labour, Trade, Gender, Disaster Preparedness Biodiversity and Responsible Fisheries Venue: Fortaleza, Brazil Date: 04-06 July 2006

The workshop, co-hosted with the NGO, Instituto Terramar, was organized with the objectives to Provide a forum for ICSF Members, fishworkers and others working in small scale fisheries to share...

Regional Workshop on Post-tsunami Rehabilitation of Fishing Communities and Fisheries-based Livelihoods, 18-19 January 2006, Chennai, India

The Regional Workshop on Post-tsunami Rehabilitation of Fishing Communities and Fisheries-based Livelihoods was held in Chennai, India on 18 and 19 January 2006, with the participation of fishworker organizations, NGOs,...

International Legal Instruments Relevant to Fisheries and Fishing Communities: A Handbook

This handbook provides detailed information for a wide range of legal instruments relevant to fisheries and fishworkers. It covers 114 legal instruments, categorized into the following seven themes: Human Rights,...

Post-Tsunami Rehabilitation of Fisheries Livelihoods: ICSF Information Dossier

This dossier puts together various articles and information that is likely to be of relevance to those engaged with rehabilitation of fisheries-based livelihoods in Tamil Nadu, the state in India...

Proceedings of the Indian Ocean Conference- Forging Unity: Coastal Communities and the Indian Ocean’s Future, 9-13 October 2001, India

This is the proceedings of the Indian Ocean Conference “Forging Unity: Coastal Communities and the Indian Ocean’s Future”. The conference as an important opportunity to explore the idea of an...

Film – Under the Sun: The transient fisherfolk of Jambudwip

Jambudwip is a 20-sq km island in the district of South 24-Parganas, in the Indian State of West Bengal, in the Sunderbans delta. Since at least 1955, Jambudwip has been...

Samudra For Cebu Conference, June 1994

Samudra for Cebu is a bulletin which will report on the proceedings of this 6-day conference as well as act as a forum for participants to express opinions and viewpoints....

The Cebu Conference Proceedings: The Struggles of Fishworkers: New Concerns for Support, Cebu, Philippines, 2-7 June 1994

This publication is the official record of what transpired at Cebu conference held between 2 and 7 June 1994. It is a compendium of papers, reports and special contributions on...

Study of territorial use rights in Small-scale fisheries: Traditional systems of fisheries management in Pulicat Lake, Tamil Nadu, India

This paper describes and analyses the system of traditional fishing rights in Pulicat Lake, the second largest lagoon of India spreading across the States of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh....

Report of the International Conference of Fishworkers, and their Supporters, Rome, July 4–8, 1984

This report documents the international conference of fishworkers and their supporters that took place in Rome, Italy from July 4-8, 1984. The conferences was an historical event, fishworkers the main...