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Issue No:83
  • :0976 1121
  • :September
  • :2020

Samudra Report No.83, September 2020



Splitting Hairs

There is no reason to wait for consensus on what is justice before we do something about injustice in small-scale fisheries

This article is by Svein Jentoft (, Professor, Norwegian College of Fishery Science, UiT-The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway, and Founding Member, Too Big To Ignore (TBTI)

With the Blue Economy/Blue Growth now spreading around the world, I believe the issue of social justice for small-scale fisheries is an important and increasingly urgent issue, also for social research. We now have the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines), a landmark achievement when member-states of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) endorsed them in June 2014. I believe that if states do nothing to implement the guidelines, the Blue Economy will come at a loss to small-scale fisheries. Then the many injustices they have faced for so long will only exacerbate.

The justice question has been with us since humans started to form groups and communities. It never went away–and most likely never will. Up through history people have been thinking hard and long about what is...

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