Roundup News, events, briefings and more…

Women in Fishing

In Abidjan, women in the artisanal fishing sector offer work to young people 

In Côte d’Ivoire, more than half of the population is under 20 years old. In artisanal fishing communities such as Abidjan, San Pedro and Grand-Bereby, many young people are desperate for work.

With the scarcity of fish, becoming a fisherman or a woman fish processor is almost mission impossible. With a very low school attendance – on average, only a third of young people in fishing communities have had access to education, half that of young people nationally – finding a job outside the artisanal fishing sector is even more difficult.

To give these young people a future in Côte d’Ivoire, the women of the Co-operative des Mareyeuses et Transformatrices des ProduitsHalieutiquesd’Abidjan (CMATPHA) have reacted. They got together and decided to make room for them in the artisanal fish processing sector. “We are their mothers, we couldn’t stand by and do nothing,” explains Micheline Dion Somplehi, president of the co-operative. In a show of solidarity, the women agreed to share the benefits of their activities with the young people, entrusting them with various tasks, such as unloading the catches and preparing the fish for processing.

When the pirogues arrive, young men armed with basins go to meet them to unload the catches and take them to the sites where the women process the fish or to the refrigerators where the fish will be stored. Being a ‘chargeur’ (loader) is a full-time job during the high fishing season. It involves not only unloading the fish from the pirogues, but also putting the fish on ice, organising storage, cleaning the freezers. They are paid by the women processors they supply, 100 CFA francs per basin brought in. The fisherman whose catches they unload also offers them some fish for their consumption. At the end of the day, if they have unloaded several pirogues, they may have received enough fish to sell some, which enables them to improve their income…

Blood Salmon

An average diver dies per month in the Chilean salmon industry during 2021 

On average, one diver died per month in the Chilean salmon industry during 2021. The new death of a diver in a salmon farming center from the mega company Aqua Chile, owned by the Agrosúper holding, marks the average of one worker death per month in this billionaire export industry during 2021.The diver-shellfish diver Andrés Alejandro TeigelColiague (41), died while lifting the moorings of the rafts-cages of the Gala 2 culture center, located in the Aysénregion.As is customary in the Chilean salmon industry, Teigel worked sub-contracted by the SGM Austral company.

In the Patagonian region of Aysen, there is an exponential territorial and productive increase in salmon monoculture which is being accompanied by a procession of successive deaths of divers. This is other consequence of the precarious working conditions in this industry that uses the “temporary subcontracting system” of workers, without the intervention of the regional authorities, the Directorate of Maritime Territory (Directemar), dependent on the Chilean Navy, the Labour Inspection, and state agencies.

For the mega company Aqua Chile, this is the second death of a subcontracted diver in its farming centers this year. On February 9, Héctor Lagos Peñailillo, (42), died due to the precarious diving protocols that exist in a farming center in the town of Melinka. The worker had been sub-hired by the Society for Aquaculture Projects and Submarine Services (Passub). Previously, on January 25, 2021, a 16-year-old adolescent diver died while doing underwater work in a salmon farm near Ipun Island, also in the Melinka area.

On 25 February 2021, the artisanal fisher diver Cristian Diaz (60) died in the Concheo 2 farming center, Aysen region, owned by the mega-company SalmonesBlumar. Díaz had been sub-contracted by the company Servicios Prime SpA.

International markets and consumers are already identifying Chilean productions as the “blood salmon from the south of the world,” Ecoceanos Centre said.

Civil Society Mechanism

International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC)

The IPC’s origin dates back to the World Food Summit organized in Rome in 1996 by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), as a part of global civil society’s reaction to ongoing global processes on food and agriculture, and as part of an attempt to engage actively with them. Today, the IPC is the world’s largest alliance of small-scale food producers, including peasants, artisanal fisherfolk, pastoralists and herders, nomads, indigenous peoples and indigenous organizations, forest dwellers, landless people, urban producers and rural workers.

The IPC represents more than 6,000 national organizations and 300 mn small-scale food producers. Through this platform, we defend the interests of those who supply 70 per cent of global food production and who yet continue to suffer from food insecurity, malnutrition and the non-recognition of their fundamental role in feeding the planet. IPC is the open, informal space where the dialogue and debate among different stakeholders in the field of food security, food sovereignty and nutrition is facilitated, conveying the message from civil society to governments, international institutions and NGOs. The IPC is autonomous from political parties, institutions, governments and the private sector. Through its evolution as a global food sovereignty platform, the IPC has maintained a close relationship with FAO, facilitating the participation of thousands of small-scale food producers and other relevant constituencies. The IPC has enabled Members to channel their various competencies to FAO and other relevant forums and processes. The platform has organized these into five working groups: Agricultural Biodiversity; Agroecology; Fisheries; Indigenous Peoples; and Land, Forests, Water and Territory.

The IPC called for a profound reform of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to turn it into an authoritative, inclusive forum for ensuring policy coherence in the name of food security and the human right to food. As a result of the IPC’s work, and with support of the G77, the Transnational Agrarian Movements and the FAO, the CFS was transformed into an inclusive global policy forum deliberating on food security and nutrition. From 2009 this ensured a strong presence of small-scale food producers contributing to the definition of the agenda through a Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) that replicated the regional and constituency structure of the IPC. The first outcome of the reformed CFS was the approval of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (Tenure Guidelines/VGGT) in May 2012. Moreover, FAO guarantees the IPC formal recognition as a space of co-ordination among different food-producer organizations since 2002 and, through various Exchange of Letters (EoLs), the IPC and FAO agreed on defining the framework in which to collaborate. The last one was signed in 2019 and it is still ongoing. To know more about the IPC, visit:

By: Stefano Mori

Small-scale fisheries

COFI Declaration for Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture

13. The Committee:

(a) reaffirmed the fundamental role of marine and inland small-scale and artisanal fisheries for achieving the SDGs and, in particular, SDG 14.b to eradicate hunger and poverty; achieve food security and improve nutrition; secure sustainable food systems, sustainable resource utilization and sustainable livelihoods; and reiterated the importance of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines) as a tool for that purpose;

(b) recognized that COVID-19 has had a particularly negative impact on small-scale and artisanal fisheries and aquaculture, and stressed the need to provide the appropriate support and foster resilience for the sustainable development of this sector;

(c)   commended FAO on progress of the implementation of the SSF Guidelines under the FAO SSF Umbrella Programme and related activities. It reiterated the importance of continuing FAO’s efforts and encouraged seeking synergies and interlinkages with global, regional and national processes and relevant organizations;

(d) requested increased work in relation to support for small-scale and artisanal fisheries with: i) better access to markets; ii) fair access to fishing rights, considering potential impacts of competing sectors and activities; iii) improved legal frameworks; iv) strengthened small-scale and artisanal fisheries organizations; v) improved gender equality and gender and youth empowerment; vi) use of information and communication technology; and vii) reduction of food loss and waste;

(e) appreciated the efforts to improve data collection and analysis, and affirmed the usefulness of the Illuminating Hidden Harvests (IHH) study to better understand the challenges and the opportunities facing small-scale and artisanal fisheries and improve related livelihoods through better policies and participation of stakeholders;

(f) requested FAO to intensify support to Members by building on the IHH study, using its findings and conducting further analyses, and to develop capacity on small-scale and artisanal fisheries’ data and information, in particular at the national and regional level;

(g) reiterated its support for the Global Strategic Framework in Support of the Implementation of the SSF Guidelines and for FAO to further develop the knowledge-sharing platform and monitoring system for the implementation of the SSF Guidelines; and

(h) expressed its commitment to the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA) in 2022, welcomed the proposed planning roadmap and invited countries and partners to be part of the activities; emphasized the opportunity to focus attention on the role of small-scale and artisanal fisheries and aquaculture in poverty eradication, ending hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition; also emphasized the need for IYAFA to increase awareness and understanding of this sector for the social and economic development of coastal communities and the provision of food of high nutritional value, sustainable use of natural resources, and COVID-19 response and recovery; recognized that IYAFA would also create a positive narrative through promoting partnerships, effective participation of small-scale and artisanal producers and exchange best practices, technical assistance and capacity building, taking into account the diverse nature of small-scale and artisanal fisheries and aquaculture.

2021 COFI Declaration for Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture

We, the Ministers and Plenipotentiaries representing FAO Members, Member Organizations, and Associated Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) at the 34th Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) in Rome in February 2021, and celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF), adopted in Resolution 4/95 by the FAO Conference on 31 October 1995,

Recalling the goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to end poverty and hunger everywhere, and Noting that the world is not on track to achieve Zero Hunger1, with close to 750 mn people exposed to severe levels of food insecurity in 2019, while one in four children under five remain chronically malnourished,

Recognizing fisheries and aquaculture’s role in supporting countries to achieve sustainable development, particularly in the fight against poverty, hunger, and malnutrition, bearing in mind the continuous positive growth of the sector, which in 2018 contributed 32 mn tonnes of aquatic plants, as well as 156 mn tonnes of fish for direct human consumption, which is a 7-fold increase from 1950, and provides 3.3 bn people with almost 20 per cent of their average per capita intake of animal protein,

Noting also the Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, and the critical role sustainably managed fisheries have in achieving biological diversity outcomes, in line with sustainable and inclusive ocean economies,

Recognizing further that women are critical to all Sustainable Development Goals, in particular as agents in achieving food security and improved nutrition in poor and vulnerable households, and the fisheries and aquaculture sector’s potential for growth in opportunities for women,

Acknowledging the important role and contribution of artisanal and small-scale fisheries and aquaculture in poverty eradication and in providing livelihoods, as well as ensuring food security and nutritional needs of local communities,

Noting with concern that the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to aggravate poverty, hunger and malnutrition, including an unprecedented impact on the fisheries and aquaculture sector,

Recognizing further that sustainable fisheries management requires integrating fisheries into broader planning and ocean governance frameworks, within the context of the ecosystem and precautionary approaches, and strengthening the political will and capacity to improve the implementation of existing policy frameworks,

Recognizing that aquaculture has been the fastest growing food production industry over the last five decades, is responsible for the doubling of global per capita fish consumption since 1960, and is making increasing contributions to the provision of food and livelihoods for a growing population,

Recognizing further the need to ensure that the sector promotes sustainable feed sources, and develops in a sustainable manner, including by improving aquatic health and biosecurity, reducing the burden of disease and encouraging the responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials…

Source: Excerpts from Report of the 34th Session of the Committee on Fisheries (1–5 February 2021)

INFOLOG: New resources at ICSF

Publications and Films

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri 24 December 2021

In the present report, submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant to Council resolution 43/11, Michael Fakhri, provides an outline of the direction that he intends to take during his tenure.

Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries: Trends over the last 25 years

This booklet offers a glimpse into the objectives of the Code and the framework of instruments and guidelines that have, over the last 25 years, been built on the Code and in support of the implementation of its wide-ranging provisions.

Women’s Economic Empowerment in Fisheries in the Blue Economy of the Indian Ocean Rim: A Baseline Report

This report provides a baseline analysis of women’s economic empowerment in the fisheries sector in the blue economy of the Indian Ocean rim region.

ILO training package on inspection of labour conditions on board fishing vessels–-ed_dialogue/–-sector/documents/instructionalmaterial/wcms_766744.pdf

The training package responds to the needs for training material while being consistent with the requirements of the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No. 188), to the “Guidelines on flag State inspection of working and living conditions on board fishing vessels” and to the “Guidelines for port State control officers carrying out inspections under the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No. 188)”.

Paumari – The Water People by Operação Amazônia Nativa

Known as water people, the Paumari are excellent fishermen and divers and inhabit lakes, floodplains, beaches and streams in the Tapauá River basin. The management of pirarucu, after seven years of work, recovered the fishing stock and contributed to the strengthening of its organization.

Conservación con la gente del mar: Avance y retoshaciaelfuturo

Cultural and environmental diversity are intrinsically linked. The culture and resources of the sea are fundamental for the security and food sovereignty of marine fishing communities. This video shows in six minutes that if we lose our local fishing communities, a fundamental part of our culture, our identity and our gastronomy also disappears.

Rebuild or Leave ‘Paradise’: Climate Change Dilemma Facing a Nicaraguan Coastal Town

Two major November hurricanes slammed into the same part of the Nicaraguan coast, laying waste to the Miskito village of Haulover. Faced with a future of intensifying storms, the residents must now consider whether to abandon their way of life by the ocean and move inland.


Need for RatificationIt is high time that countries ratify the ILO Work in Fishing Convention No. 188 so as to ensure better social protection for fishers

It is nearly six years now since the adoption of the Work in Fishing Convention No. 188 (C.188) by the International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Only two countries (Argentina and Bosnia and Herzegovina) have ratified it so far, thus delaying its entry into force. This delay underscores the widely held view that fishers and fishworkers still do not receive the kind of attention they deserve when it comes to securing their social protection.

Why does it take such a long time for countries to ratify C.188? There are several reasons for this holdup. First of all, in most countries, especially in the developing world, there are hardly any requirements under current legislation to provide social protection for fishers. As a result, there is not much independent information on how fishers are hired, under what conditions they live and work, and what benefits they receive on leaving fishing due to injury or death or retirement. Information on issues such as child labour and forced labour in fishing and fishery-related activities is under-reported and anecdotal. For instance, while observing that existing laws are too fragmented or inadequate to provide sufficient social protection, the gap analysis of Indian legislation in relation to transposing C.188 has recommended legislating a new legal instrument. Many new elements in national legislation have to be developed to make them consistent with C.188. This is turning out to be a time-consuming process, which is holding up ratification of the Convention.

Secondly, in many countries, a new-generation sectoral labour instrument such as C.188, which has unprecedented elements with a sliding scale of standards on multiple axes such as the size of the vessel, days at sea, and distance from baselines, falls within the purview of different ministries. In many countries, for instance, various elements of C.188 fall within the jurisdiction of the labour authority, the fisheries authority or the maritime authority at different levels. It will take time to achieve some extent of coherence across these authorities.

Thirdly, while governments and trade union representatives are in support of ratifying C.188, sections of fishing vessel owners remain sceptical and insist that ratification would lead to non-viable fishing operations. According to some vessel owners, fishing operations would become less flexible and financially impracticable if improved labour standards are introduced on board fishing vessels. Separation of work hours from living hours on board fishing vessels is challenged on the basis of fishing operations being essentially different from land-based jobs and that fishers are, in fact, paid higher wages in compensation for their flexible hours of work. It is, however, moot if higher wages should be seen as justifiable compensation for poor, or fatigue-inducing, working and living conditions.

– from SAMUDRA Report, No.64, March 2013



United Nations World Oceans Day: The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods on 8 June 2021

Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, 11 – 24 October 2021-Kunming, China

People and the Seas conference ‘Limits to Blue Growth?’ held from 29 June – 2 July 2021


Social Protection and Fisheries

The FAO has launched a new webpage detailing the high levels of poverty and vulnerability in small-scale fisheries which stem from social and economic marginalisation.

Gender Platform

Generating Evidence and New Directions for Equitable Results (GENDER) is a new platform designed to put gender equality at the forefront.

The Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups (RIFGs)

The Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups (RIFGs) aim to improve the management of inshore fisheries in the 0-6 nautical mile zone of Scottish waters, and to give commercial inshore fishermen a strong voice in wider marine management developments.