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SSF Guidelines

Small-scale and artisanal fisheries contribute about half of global fish catches and employ millions of people. They are often rooted in local communities, providing food security and nutrition, reducing poverty. At a time of great environmental crises, small-scale fisheries provide hope. Yet their interests and contributions are often overlooked.

This gap was finally filled in 2014 in a watershed moment: the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) endorsed the ‘Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication’ (SSF Guidelines). It is the only international instrument dedicated to small-scale fisheries. This set of guidelines directs policy, from the local to the international levels, to support and promote the sub-sector.

The SSF Guidelines provide representation to the marginalized. For their secure tenure over fishing resources and space; for decent conditions of work; for the social development of fishing communities; gender equity and equality; for balancing universal human rights while respecting local conditions and traditions.

It resulted from a long-drawn democratic campaign. In the 1980s, small groups of fishers began voicing their concerns about the social and environmental crisis caused by industrial fishing across developing countries. They began collaborating. ICSF resulted from such partnerships.

The Rio declaration of 1992 had recognized the rights of traditional fishers and their contributions. In 1995 FAO adopted the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF). It recognized the contributions of artisanal fisheries, recommending their preferential access to fishing resources. FAO organized its first global conference of small-scale fisheries in Thailand in 2008.

Thereafter, several workshops hosted over 4,000 participants from 120 nations. In 2011, FAO’s Committee on Fisheries (COFI) recommended an international legal instrument to safeguard the rights of small-scale, artisanal fishers. The next two years were a participatory effort to create a consensus and agree on a final text. The SSF Guidelines were endorsed in June, 2014. The challenge now is for all stakeholders to implement the SSF Guidelines.

For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/site/ssfguidelines/home and https://sites.google.com/site/smallscalefisheries/

Current Programmes

Latin America Workshop: IYAFA 2022-Celebrating Sustainable and Equitable Small-scale Fisheries São Paulo state, Brazil

The Latin American workshop will be held in São Paulo state, Brazil. The overall goal of the workshop is to strengthen the recognition of small-scale fisheries’ crucial contributions to global food security and nutrition, the importance of tenure rights in the sector, and social development. The workshop is also an opportunity to take stock of how the SSF Guidelines are being implemented in Latin America to eradicate poverty, ensure food security and nutrition, and promote the tenure rights of small-scale fishing communities. The workshop will include 45 participants from community-based organizations, national and international fishworker organizations, networks of women in fisheries, and civil society organizations from across Latin America and the Caribbean. For more details, please visit: https://www.icsf.net/resources/latin-america-workshop-iyafa-2022/

National Training of Trainers (ToT) Workshop on the SSF Guidelines at Chennai, 13-15 October 2022

The negotiated Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (the SSF Guidelines) were endorsed by the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) at its Thirty-first Session in June 2014. The implementation of the SSF Guidelines is identified as a significant step for enhancing the contribution of small-scale fisheries to nutrition and food security. As part of the implementation process, ICSF Trust is organizing a National Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop at Chennai, from 13-15 October 2022. Key fishworker representatives (One man and one woman) from Andhra Pradesh, Goa , Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are expected to attend the workshop. For more details, please visit: https://www.icsf.net/resources/tot-ssf-guidelines-india-2022/

Resources

National Training of Trainers (TOT) Workshop (Inland Fisheries) on the SSF Guidelines, Seva Kendra, Kolkata, West Bengal, 22-24 December 2022

National Training of Trainers (TOT) Workshop (Inland Fisheries) on the SSF Guidelines, Seva Kendra, Kolkata, West Bengal, 22-24 December 2022 The Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the…

National Training of Trainers (TOT) Workshop on the SSF Guidelines

National Training of Trainers (TOT) Workshop on the SSF Guidelines Asha Nivas, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 13-15 October, 2022 The negotiated Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the context…

Déclaration de Felicito Núñez, au nom de l’ICSF et des signataires de l’Appel à l’action sur le point n°10 “Intégrer la biodiversité dans la pêche et l’aquaculture

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Je m’appelle Felicito Núñez, et je vais m’exprimer au nom du Collectif international de soutien aux travailleurs de la pêche (ICSF) et des signataires de l’Appel à l’action de la…

Comité de Pesca: trigésimo quinto período de sesiones Punto 6 del orden del día: Apoyo a la pesca artesanal y en pequeña escala – Declaración by Colectivo Internacional de Apoyo a la Pesca Artesanal (CIAPA)

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Observamos que la pesca en pequeña escala (PPE) ocupa un lugar destacado en el Área Prioritaria que la FAO dedica a su Programa de Transformación Azul. De acuerdo con los…

Thirty-fifth Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) on Agenda Item 6: Supporting Small-scale and Artisanal Fisheries Statement by ICSF

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We notice that small-scale fisheries (SSF) have an important role in FAO’s Blue Transformation Programme Priority Area. Based on the FAO tool box, its guidance document on applying a human…

Thirty-fifth Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) on Agenda Item 5: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Statement by ICSF

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We agree with the observation that the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies with the current focus on overfished stocks and IUU fishing will have a global positive impact on the…

Report on Asia Workshop – IYAFA 2022: Celebrating Sustainable and Equitable Small-scale Fisheries, 4 – 8 May, 2022, The Berkeley Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

International collective in support of fishwokers (ICSF) in partnership with Sustainable Development Foundation (SDF) Thailand had organized an International Workshop titled “IYAFA 2022-Celebrating Sustainable and Equitable Small-scale Fisheries: Asia” from…

IYAFA 2022 | Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF) Summit, 2-4 September 2022

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The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will be conducting a sesson at the Small-Scale Fisheries…

Fisheries Sector Support Schemes in India 2016-2017

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Fisheries Sector Support Schemes in India 2016-2017 compiled by ICSF https://www.icsf.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Fisheries_Schemes_2016_Compiled_ICSF.pdf

Latin America and the Caribbean Workshop: IYAFA 2022-Celebrating Sustainable and Equitable Small-scale Fisheries

Organized by ICSF and CONFREM Latin America and the Caribbean Workshop IYAFA 2022: Celebrating Sustainable and Equitable Small-Scale Fisheries Cardoso Island, Cananéia, State of São Paulo, Brazil,  2-5 November 2022 In…

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Legal Reflections on the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines: Building a Global Safety Net for Small-Scale Fisheries by Julia N. Nakamura

The Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication, endorsed by the Committee on Fisheries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of…

Blue Transformation – Roadmap 2022–2030: A vision for FAO’s work on aquatic food systems

This document outlines a roadmap for the transformation of aquatic food systems – ‘Blue Transformation’, providing a compass for the FAO’s work on aquatic food systems for the period 2022–2030.…

Global assessment of COVID-19 on fisheries and aquaculture: COFI-35 session background paper

COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, and years later there remains serious ongoing economic, health, and food system challenges. Global growth is estimated to slow in…

Report of the Third Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. Brussels, Belgium, 31 May − 4 June 2021

The Parties discussed the results of the questionnaire for the review and assessment of the effectiveness of the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), agreeing that the questionnaire was a useful…

The 1989 FAO Standard Specification for the Marking and Identification of Fishing Vessels – use and options for review

The main conclusion of this study is that the identification and marking of fishing vessels and the compiling and maintaining of this information in accessible national, regional and global records…

Addressing Climate Change in Fisheries and Aquaculture: Reporting on Progress and Action Plan for the Implementation of the FAO Strategy on Climate Change 2022-2031

This document provides an overview of the intersessional work carried out by FAO on climate change in relation to fisheries and aquaculture. It reports on normative work in response to…

Report of the Eleventh Session of the COFI Sub-Committee on Aquaculture, 24-27 May 2022

The Eleventh Session of the Sub-Committee on Aquaculture of the FAO Committee on Fisheries was held virtually in Rome, Italy, from 24 to 27 May 2022. The Sub-Committee commended FAO’s…

FAO’S contribution of fisheries and aquaculture towards achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development: Thirty-fifth session Committee on Fisheries, 5–9 September 2022

This document provides an overview of the contribution of fisheries and aquaculture towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The progress and challenges in this regard are discussed, with…

The International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA) 2022: Thirty-fifth Session Committee on Fisheries, 5–9 September 2022

This document summarizes the objectives, governance, celebrations, and achievements of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA) 2022. It complements documents COFI/2022/4 and COFI/2022/Inf.9 on supporting small-scale and…

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