The Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines) represent the first ever international instrument dedicated to small-scale fisheries. They represent a global consensus on principles and guidance for small-scale fisheries governance and development. They were developed for small-scale fisheries in close collaboration with representatives of small-scale fisheries organizations in a participatory process between 2011-13, involving over 4000 stakeholders; facilitated by FAO, based on a mandate by COFI. They are directed at all those involved in the sector and intend to guide and encourage governments, fishing communities and other stakeholders to work together and ensure secure and sustainable small-scale fisheries for the benefit of small-scale fishers, fish workers and their communities as well as for society at large. They complement existing international instruments, such as the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, the VG Tenure and the Right to Food Guidelines. Underpinned by a human rights approach, the SSF Guidelines represent a critical instrument to empower small-scale fishing communities – including vulnerable and marginalized groups – to participate in decision-making processes, and to assume responsibilities for sustainable use of fishery resources. The SSF Guidelines are already referred to in a number of ongoing policy processes (Committee on Global Food Security: Principles for responsible investment in agriculture and food systems 41st CFS recommendations; NEPAD’s policy framework and reform strategy for fisheries and aquaculture in Africa; Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC), Resolution WECAFC/15/2014/8).