A diverse group of concerned people from South and Southeast Asian countries working towards securing sustainable small-scale fisheries, who participated virtually at the “Fishing for Life: South and Southeast Asian Conference on Small-scale Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 (SACSFA 2022)”, from 19 to 20 September 2022, has called for a rights-based approach to small-scale fisheries development that promotes the stewardship of small-scale fisheries through the broadscale engagement and collaboration of all stakeholders.

In a Statement issued at the Conference, the participants, who included academics, researchers and representatives of civil society organizations, acknowledged how the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines) in the region can enhance sustainable use and

management of fisheries resources, equitable development of small-scale fishing communities, and contribute to poverty eradication.

The Statement urged the promotion of an interactive, inclusive and multi-stakeholder approach to fisheries governance that goes beyond the scope of conventional fisheries management, so as to articulate power through the involvement of local communities and representative organizations, by means of training and capacity building.

The Statement also recommended that the SSF Guidelines be mainstreamed into relevant policies, strategies and legislation at the national and local levels, and national plans of action be developed for sustainable fisheries and the socioeconomic development of fishing communities, as has been

initiated by several countries in the region and other parts of the world (e.g., Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Malawi, Madagascar and Namibia).

The full text of the Statement can be found at: