SAMUDRA Report

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Issue No:80
  • :0973–1121
  • :December
  • :2018

Samudra Report No.80, December 2018

SSF / Poverty

Come Together

Only collective action in small-scale fisheries can overcome the problems of poverty, marginalization, insecure tenure rights and powerlessness


This article is by Svein Jentoft (svein.jentoft@uit.no),Professor, Norwegian College of Fishery Science, UiT- The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway


Sometimes an academic paper is especially known for its intriguing title, like the one by Chris Béné, which stated that small-scale fisheries “rhymes with poverty”. He not only referred to the fact that small-scale fishers and fishworkers are poor, often extremely so. He also alluded to the way they are generally perceived; the image of small-scale fishing as “an occupation of last resort”, that is, what people do when they have no other alternative to sustain themselves. Small-scale fishers and fishworkers, therefore, need assistance to free themselves from their dismal predicament, to get out of the industry, and into some other employment. This would be good for themselves, but also for the economy and the environment, because the definition of the problem is that there are “too many fishers chasing too few fish.” The assumption is that poor people are also bad stewards. Removing them from this industry would, therefore, be a...

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