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Enhancing the contribution of small-scale aquaculture to food security, poverty alleviation and socio-economic development

FAO Expert Workshop 21-24 April 2010 Hanoi, Viet Nam










Bondad-Reantaso, M.G. and Subasinghe, R.P., eds. 2013. Enhancing the contribution of small-scale aquaculture to food security, poverty alleviation and socio-economic development. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Proceedings No. 31. Rome. FAO. 255 pp.


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    Report of the Expert Consultation on the Role of Small-scale Fisheries in Poverty Alleviation and Food Security. Rome, 5–8 July 2004. 2004
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    The Expert Consultation was convened by FAO in order to elaborate guidelines on the policies and actions needed to increase the contribution of small-scale fisheries to poverty alleviation and food security. The twenty-fifth session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries, held in Rome from 24 to 28 February 2003, requested FAO to develop such guidelines as part of its series of technical guidelines on the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The Expert Consultati on had before it a comprehensive background document on the subject matter and recommended that two products be published by FAO: (i) a FAO Fisheries Technical Paper on small-scale fisheries in poverty alleviation and food security that would include a full review of relevant background information; and (ii) FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries on enhancing the contribution of small-scale fisheries to poverty alleviation and food security that would be a much more concise document highlighting the actions needed to increase the contribution of small-scale fisheries. The Expert Consultation provided specific guidance for the finalization of the technical paper based on a revision and elaboration of the background document and produced a detailed outline for the preparation of the technical guidelines. It also provided recommendations on the dissemination of both documents and on methods to assess the use and evaluate the impacts of the technical guide lines. The Expert Consultation noted that there is little reference to poverty alleviation and insufficient coverage of small-scale fisheries in the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. It therefore recommended the development of a new Article on “Small-scale Fisheries and Poverty Alleviation”.
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    Report of the Workshop on International Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries, Rome, Italy, 7–10 February 2012 2012
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    In June 2011, the twenty-ninth Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) recommended the development of international guidelines for small-scale fisheries (“SSF Guidelines”). As part of its strategic development process, the FAO Secretariat is engaging in an extensive consultative process with governments, regional organizations, civil society organizations, and small-scale fishers, fish workers and their communities. In this context, a consultative workshop on International Guide lines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries was convened in Rome, Italy, on 7–10 February 2012. The workshop brought together about 30 experts from government, regional organizations, civil society and academia to further discuss the structure, overall considerations and thematic coverage of the Guidelines and to consolidate ideas put forth in the regional and national consultations. Advice was given concerning next steps and additional activities in the guidelines development process. The workshop confirmed the importance of small-scale fisheries as a contributor to poverty alleviation, food and nutrition security, and economic development. The SSF Guidelines should complement the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) and draw on its principles and approaches and the discussions confirmed that the guiding principles of the SSF Guidelines should include good governance and human rights. Additional principles, approaches and frameworks to be ref erred to include equity, economic viability, ecosystem based, holistic and integrated approaches. Participants encouraged continued and strengthened collaboration and partnerships, both with regard to the development of the SSF Guidelines as well as for their implementation. The workshop noted the need to build bridges between different stakeholder visions – within the fisheries sector as well as outside – to ensure coherence. A new vision on how to ensure access for small-scale fisher ies communities and giving them resource stewardship responsibilities may be needed, reflecting the need for combining livelihood security and environmental sustainability as one cannot be achieved without the other. Participants stressed that the small-scale fisheries sector should not be portrayed as one in need of aid and as being development dependent, but as a real contributor to socio-economic development and livelihood security. The SSF Guidelines should be a set of ideals to em power the sector and it will be important to create awareness of the potential of small-scale fisheries – if supported and not marginalized – and to build political will at all levels. The workshop agreed that the SSF Guidelines can become a powerful tool in achieving sustainable governance and development of the sector. Support to their implementation will be important, requiring concerted efforts and organizational development and strengthening of capacities at all levels.
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    Increasing the contribution of small-scale fisheries to poverty alleviation and food security. 2005
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    These guidelines focus on small-scale fisheries and their current and potential role in contributing to poverty alleviation and food security. They are complementary to existing Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries. Most small-scale fishers are in developing countries and many live in poor and food insecure communities. The guidelines explore ways through which the contribution of small-scale fisheries to poverty alleviation and food security could be enhanced. A vision for t he future of small-scale fisheries is presented as a goal towards which the subsector should develop. Ensuring greater participation by small-scale fishers and their communities in the formulation of policies, the development of related legislation and regulations, and in management decision-making and implementation processes, is vital to the realization of this vision. The central role of effective fisheries management, the importance of considering cross-sectoral uses of fisheries and related resources, the special role of women in fish marketing, processing and value addition, the significant scope for trade, the critical role that adequate financing can have in enabling transitions for effective fisheries management and the role of knowledge in making informed decisions are all discussed in these guidelines.

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