SLFSSF’s statement at “FISHING FOR LIFE” South and South-East Asian Conference on Small Scale Fisheries and Aquaculture (SACSFA), 19-20 September 2022

We, the representatives of Sri Lanka Forum for Small Scale Fisheries, academics, researchers and civil society organisations working towards securing sustainable small-scale fisheries, from South and Southeast Asian countries, having 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;

Recognizing that the small-scale fisheries subsector, marine and inland, including women and men along the value chain, contribute to food security and nutrition, employment and poverty eradication, as well to the way of life and culture of coastal and riparian communities in South and Southeast Asia;

Mindful of the ethnic, religious, caste, cultural and historical diversity, colonial legacy and patterns of migration in the region, and their impact on social and economic relations, as well as the dynamic nature of small-scale fisheries;

Conscious of the degradation of the marine environment, the heightened anthropogenic threats (e.g., pollution, overfishing, etc.), injustices caused by the blue growth process, and serious natural (e.g., climate change, extreme weather events, etc.) risks facing inland and marine small-scale fishing communities;

Concerned about unregulated technological change in marine and inland fishing, cross-border conflicts from destructive fishing methods, overfishing pressures, and their adverse impact on small-scale fisheries;

Realizing how sustainable small-scale fisheries can be secured through effective legislation, regional cooperation and collaboration, strengthening community-based institutions and the protection of the human rights of small-scale fishers and fishworkers, especially to participate in decision-making processes and intra- and inter-sectoral dialogues;

Cognizant of the need to protect tenure rights and promote social development, improve safety at sea, ensure gender equality and promote resource stewardship among small-scale fishers and fishing communities;

Interested in promoting sustainable development and greater visibility of small-scale fisheries and accountability of all small-scale fisheries actors; and

Acknowledging 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…

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