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:


Asserting Rights, Defining Responsibilities: Perspectives from Small-scale Fishing Communities on Coastal and Fisheries Management in Asia – Workshop and Symposium proceedings, 3-8 May 2007, Siem Reap, Cambodia

This publication is a record of the proceedings of the Siem Reap Workshop and Symposium. It provides a bottom-up perspective on how rights are understood, and what rights are seen...

Asserting Rights, Defining Responsibilities: Perspectives from Small-scale Fishing Communities on Coastal and Fisheries Management in Philippines

The studies aimed to document and explore the understanding that fishing communities have about their rights to fisheries and coastal resources, as well as the obligations and responsibilities associated with...

Fishing Communities and Sustainable Development in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA): The Role of Small-scale Fisheries 14 to 17 March 2006, Kurasini Training and Conference Centre, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

The report provides details of the discussions by participants, including the group discussions, on issues ranging from co-management and marine protected areas to regional instruments and processes and organizational strategies....

The Right to Survive: Turtle Conservation and Fisheries Livelihood

This film looks at turtle conservation efforts along the coast of the Indian State of Orissa and examines, in parallel, the situation of artisanal fishworkers in turtle conservation areas. By...

Dedi Adhuri – Tenure rights and small-scale fisheries in Indonesia

ICSF interviewed Dedi Supriadi Adhuri, Senior Researcher at the Research Center for Society and Culture, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Jakarta at “Tenure and User Rights in Fisheries 2018,” organized by...

Coastal Fisheries And Poverty: The Case of India for International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD )

Available evidence suggests that coastal fishing communities, in general, have lower levels of literacy, a lower sex ratio, and poorer conditions of housing, as compared to State and national averages....

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