About ICSF


The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) is an international non-governmental organization that works towards the establishment of equitable, gender-just,self-reliant and sustainable fisheries, particularly in the small-scale, artisanal sector.

ICSF draws its mandate from the historic International Conference of Fishworkers and their Supporters (ICFWS), held in Rome in 1984, parallel to the World Conference on Fisheries Management and Development organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

A number of fishworker organizations and concerned intellectuals, academics and social activists felt that the FAO conference had chosen to overemphasize the commercial, industrial, scientific and fishery resource aspects, at the expense of the actual real-world, life-and-blood people involved in fishing worldwide fishworkers who are often sections of the population marginalized from mainstream society.

The main aims of ICSF are to
  • monitor issues that relate to the life, livelihood and living conditions of fishworkers around the world;
  • disseminate information on these issues, particularly amongst fisherfolk;
  • prepare guidelines for policymakers that stress fisheries development and management of a just,participatory and sustainable nature; and.
  • help create the space and momentum for the development of alternatives in the small-scale fisheries sector.

ICSF's Vision

A future in which fishing communities and fishworkers lead a life of dignity, realizing their right to life and livelihood, and organizing to foster democracy, equity, sustainable development, and responsible use of natural resources.

Within a global perspective, ICSF’s work is focused on countries of the South.

ICSF’s mission is “to support fishing communities and fishworker organizations, and empower them to participate in fisheries from a perspective of decent work, equity, gender-justice, self-reliance and sustainability”.

As a support organization, ICSF is committed to influence national, regional and international decision-making processes in fisheries so that the importance of small-scale fisheries, fishworkers and fishing communities is duly recognized. In this endeavour, ICSF works in collaboration with organizations of fishworkers and other like-minded groups.

In 2003, ICSF was awarded the Margarita Lizárraga Award by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for its contribution to the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. In 2005, the Swedish Trade Association Svensk Fisk conferred the Kungsfenan Swedish Seafood Award for Sustainable Fishing on ICSF.

ICSF offices are located in India and The Netherlands (KvK Number 69248761). The General Assembly of ICSF takes all policy decisions, which are implemented by an elected Board that steers the programmes.