Current New Focus/Activities


ICSF has been working since its inception on issues of coastal and fisheries resources management, from a small-scale fisheries perspective, using a rights and responsibilities framework. The effort has been to seek recognition of the rights of small-scale fishing communities to inland, coastal and marine resources and to participate in decision-making processes, recognizing that rights and responsibilities are two sides of the same coin.

Over the past few years, since 2008, ICSF has been engaging with processes of the FAO to seek greater recognition of the rights of small-scale fishing communities. This has been in collaboration with other civil society groups. Partly as a result of such efforts, the 29th Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI), Rome, in 2011, approved the development of a new international instrument on small-scale fisheries that would draw on relevant existing instruments, complementing the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Civil society has been actively engaging with this process of developing the guidelines to ensure that the International Guidelines on Small-scale fisheries (IG-SSF) finally adopted reflect the aspirations of small-scale fishing communities worldwide. In collaboration with other organization, 20 national workshops and two regional workshops (both in West Africa) have been organized. Reports from all these processes have been synthesized into a CSO document, that will be used by CSOs to comment on the FAO zero draft of the guidelines, and as the basis for negotiations during the technical consultation to be held in May 2013.

For information on these workshops, reports and statements, visit: