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Issue No:75
  • :January
  • :2017

Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
—a Native American saying

Analysis / HRBA

Wicked Problems

In implementing the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) in fisheries, the roles of different players need to be judiciously factored in to ensure a level playing field


This article is by SveinJentoft (svein.jentoft@uit.no), from UiT, Arctic University of Norway, Norway


The Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty (SSF Guidelines), shepherded primarily by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is the first document of a similar nature that talks about human rights in the context of small-scale fisheries, more generally. The Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries does not do it, for instance. The Tenure Guidelines talk a lot about human rights but mention small-scale fisheries only briefly.

The Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) is, therefore, a unique perspective on fisheries governance and management, with implications that are interesting and important. Some would perhaps argue that it goes without saying. People in fisheries do, of course, enjoy the same universal human rights as anyone else. It is, nevertheless, sometimes important to state the obvious, as a reminder, like when Hillary Clinton in her famous speech at the World...

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