Ocean Action Hub

Making Fisheries Sustainable - CLOSED

The online discussion on Making Fisheries Sustainable took place during the preparatory process for The Ocean Conference in order to engage stakeholders in assessing the challenges and opportunities related to delivering on implementation of SDG14.4, 14.4 and 14.b aimed at making fisheries sustainable. The discussion ran from 20 March – 7 April 2017. More....

The discussion is now closed and the final report will be posted online here shortly.

Fisheries discussion Question 1

Target 14.4: By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are the challenges faced in your community, country, or region, or from the perspective of your organization, in achieving Target 14.4?
  2. What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.4?
  3. Please share below any innovative partnerships aimed at achieving Targets 14.4 - existing or proposed - that you are aware of or involved in that can be highlighted at the June Ocean Conference and that can advance effective actions from local to global levels.
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Joe Zelasney's picture

Joe Zelasney said:

Please find the following comment, posted on behalf of: 

Dr. B. B. Solarin,

Former Director (Fisheries Resources),

c/o Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research

With reference to the Virtual dialogue on Making  Fisheries Sustainable, I wish to summarize my submission (in no particular order) as follows :

Ø  Reduction in the high rate of IUU fishing and other related issues.

Ø  Security issues including Armed sea robbery and sea piracy

Ø  Adequate safety measures and enforcement capabilities.

Ø  Issues on Environmental pollution or contamination.

Ø  Issues on migration of fishermen along the West Africa corridor.

Ø  Insurance schemes funding and administration.

Ø  Soft loan/Credit facilities with no or low interest rate.

Ø  Elimination or reduction in the conflicts between trawler fishermen and small scale fishers in inshore coastal waters (statutorily reserved for artisanal fisheries).

Ø  Limit beach seining and prohibit pair trawling and purse seining in the near shore coasal waters.

Ø  Gender issues and other related consideratons e.g. mainstreaming trans-boundary trades and health issues such as HIV/AIDs.

Ø  Issue of Child labour and education of school age children fishing communities.

Ø  Provision of amenities and facilities that will reduce the drudgery in value addition processes and marketing.

Ø  Establishment of Vessel Monitoring Sysyems (VMS) and regional collaboration on monitoring.

Ø  Bycatch issue especially in relation to shrimp trawling.

Ø  Conservation of endangered species including marine mammals, sea turtles and sea birds.

Ø  Involvement of small scale fishermen or fishing communities in negotiation of/review of international fishing agreements as well as agreements on trades in fish and fishery products.

Steve Rocliffe's picture

Steve Rocliffe said:

What are the challenges faced in your community, country or region, or from the perspective or your organization, in achieving Target 14.b?

  • Remoteness - locations where infrastructure doesn’t exist is poor 
  • Regulation of markets - unmonitored and unregulated markets, in which artisanal fishers are often vulnerable to inequitous price controls by powerful market actors 
  • Introduction of markets for key targets that provide important food stuffs could undermine local food security 
  • In-migration - in areas where there are few alternatives improved access to resources and markets could drive/support in migration 
  • Sustainability of markets 
  • Data deficiency - poorly/unmanaged fisheries and markets
  • Low levels of education/literacy (and lack of collective bargaining power/ awareness of rights/ poverty) in fishing communities resulting in exploitation (low $ to fishers and unsafe working conditions e.g. diving for sea cucumbers
  • Unstable government/ corruption? (maybe this goes into regulation of markets above)
  • Pre-existing inequalities give rise to elite capture of benefits as new markets introduced 

What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.b?

  • Building greater capacity for local/co-management
  • Improve regulation of current markets and advocate for fair pricing schemes and decent working conditions
  • Recognition and protection of secure rights for artisanal fishers to inshore zone 
  • Build awareness of rights/ capacity to negotiate at local level

     
Maria Gasalla's picture

Maria Gasalla said:

Thank you for the opportunity to add discussion points. The most important challenge in my country is to establish solid institutions that enable fisheries management in practice. Fisheries is an important social sector in Brazil but political disputes trigger both a continuous change of institutional roles and mandates to manage fisheries and the disintegration of any attempt to implement science-based management. In the last 2 years, fisheries sector governance moved across 3 different Ministries and seems currently in limbo. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that Brazil meets SDG 14 in 3 years now. From a fisheries scientist perspective, it is very sad to watch the current situation where there are no active industrial fisheries management plans, and the small-scale sector is suffering from the lack of management and diffuse initiatives with conflicting attributes. It is always nice to learn from social innovations coming from Latin America, but, from my point of view, new partnerships with the aim of sustainable harvesting should still be more inclusive and transparent to incorporate key agents, including local high-level technical capacities (instead of local politicians), experienced scientists, and knowledgeable fishers, to achieve such goals. 

Tony Charles's picture

Tony Charles said:

Target 14.4 certainly constitutes a big challenge, but it can only be met once we realize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. I would like to echo the excellent point made some days ago in this forum by Jeremy Rude, who noted that the answer lies not in “picking one type of management solution… and applying it everywhere” but rather, “tailored solutions and context-specific, scientific tools are needed that incentivize and prioritize the most beneficial management actions based on a fishery’s or community’s needs and resources.” Well said.

Here is an example of an ‘innovative partnership’ aiming to support and highlight the diversity of approaches needed for effective conservation and sustainable livelihoods. Communities in Action is a new online initiative focusing on the local community level (www.communityconservation.net/communities-in-action) developed by the Community Conservation Research Network. It highlights experiences of local communities around the world (coastal or inland, rural or urban) working to protect their environment and sustain their livelihoods. Undoubtedly, many such examples can be found along th ecoasts of the world, relating to local community efforts at fishery and marine conservation. By literally “putting communities on the map” (using an on-line interactive world map), these communities can share their experiences with others, decision-makers can see the impressive extent of community initiatives globally, and we all can better understand what works best in linking conservation and healthy local economies. Contributions to Communities in Action (by communities themselves, or by non-profit organizations, government agencies, researchers, civil society and others) can be made through the above website.

[OCEAN ACTION HUB: Prof. Charles is co-moderating the forum on Ensuring Sustainable Marine and Coastal Ecosystems]

Eleanor Partridge's picture

Eleanor Partridge replied:

Dear Tony,

I agree that there is no 'one size fits all', or single solution to this problem, although I think there are some elements that can be broadly beneficial - for example increased transparency and information sharing tends to reduce opportunities for profiting by illegal fishing, which is a fundamental need, as referenced by Antonia Leroy in her comment below.

Thanks for sharing information on the Communities in Action Initiative, it looks to contain a lot of interesting information. Does the initiative include mechanisms for the communities to share lesson learning or exhange knowledge? It would be interesting to learn if there are any trends or commonalities in terms of what approaches have worked.

Joe Zelasney's picture

Joe Zelasney said:

Thank you to everyone who has contributed your expertise and shared your experience and perspectives so far through the online discussion on Making Fisheries Sustainable.  For those of you just joining us, this discussion forms an important part of the preparatory process for The Ocean Conference and will be used to assess the challenges and opportunities related to delivering on implementation of SDG target 14.4, and help to shape Partnership Dialogue Theme 4 during The Ocean Conference in June.

So far we’ve heard from colleagues around the world who are working on a diverse array of topics related to Making Fisheries Sustainable, including but not limited to, challenges faced in dealing to IUU fishing, improving capacity for fisheries management, and strengthening legal frameworks.  Folks have shared some great thoughts regarding priorities actions that the international community can rally behind and introduced a number of innovative partnerships aimed at achieving SDG target 14.4. 

If you have not had a chance to contribute it is not too late, but there are only a few days left before this forum will close.  We want to hear from you!  

Antonia Leroy's picture

Antonia Leroy said:

Bonjour tout le monde,

I would like to first thank the moderators for giving us the opportunity to be part of the discussion. I am sharing OECD inputs especially on IUU fishing.

1.What are the challenges faced in your community, country, or region, or from the perspective of your organization, in achieving Target 14.4?

As mentioned in the discussion, countries still have weaknesses in their national jurisdictions to combat IUU fishing.

OECD work has shown that the root cause of IUU is economic incentives to engage in IUU, which depend both on the money that can be made and the risks related to engaging in IUU fishing activities. IUU is an economic crime in that it is rooted in opportunities for illegal profit. Increasing demand for fish products globally coupled with climate change will increase competition over limited resources, thus the escalating the threat of IUU fishing. The legal, institutional and practical factors still decisively affect the nature of IUU fishing operations. 

 

2.What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in a global 'Call to Action' for achieving Target 14.4? 

Experience sharing and comparative analysis of policies against IUU fishing would be extremely useful to identify the remaining policy gaps in the fight against IUU fishing and guide countries willing to do more in their fight against IUU. It will help to monitor progress, improve transparency and facilitate the development of cooperation among countries.

 

3.Please share any innovative partnerships - existing or proposed - that you are aware of or involved in that can advance effective actions from local to global levels aimed at achieving Target 14.4?

A report on IUU Fishing and the underlying economic crimes will be publish at the end of the year. Indicators  will be developed to better monitor policies in the fight against IUU fishing.  OECD countries but also non-OECD countries  are more than welcome to be part of this analysis that will start in May. The report will point out the shortcoming of current policies, and suggests avenue for legal and practical improvements at national and international level.

 

Eleanor Partridge's picture

Eleanor Partridge replied:

Dear Antonia,

Many thanks for this update. The report sounds useful and I look forward to seeing it. Is there any information available on who or how countries should contact if they wish to contribute?

Antonia Leroy's picture

Antonia Leroy replied:

Dear Eleanor,

Thanks for your comment. OECD countries plus observer countries at the OECD plus some countries in the Mediterranean region will be part of the study so far. Any country who wish to participate can contact me antonia.leroy@oecd.org. The objective is to involve as many countries as possible. Do not hesitate to share this information. I can also send you more information by email if you wish. 

Thanks,

Eleanor Partridge's picture

Eleanor Partridge replied:

Dear Antonia,

That's great, thanks for sharing.

General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean's picture

General Fisheri... said:

The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of the FAO, the RFMO competent over the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, would like to thank the moderators for giving us the opportunity to present the situation in our area of application (Mediterranean and Black Sea) as well as our actions regarding the preservation of marine living resources, consistent with SDG 14.4.

IUU fishing represents one of the greatest threats for the conservation and sustainable use of fisheries and unfortunately the Mediterranean and the Black Sea are also affected by this scourge. IUU fishing undermines the conservation and management measures adopted by the GFCM to ensure the rationale exploitation of living marine resources. Consequently, the fight against IUU fishing is one of the top priorities of the GFCM.

  1. What are the challenges faced in your community, country, or region, or from the perspective of your organization, in achieving Target 14.4?

The GFCM is facing several challenges in conjunction with the achievement of SDG 14.4 targets, including the harmonization of the national legislations of its contracting parties and cooperating non-contracting parties as relevant to the fight against IUU fishing, the control of foreign vessels activities in the area of application and the development of a methodology for the assessment of IUU fishing.

2.What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.4?

The GFCM does think that the strengthening of regional cooperation around the world, the effective implementation of the PSMA and of the existing MCS measures are the actions needed to achieve SDG 14.4.

3. Innovative partnerships aimed at achieving Targets 14.4.

Over the years, the GCFM has adopted concrete measures against IUU fishing. First of all, two roadmaps to fight IUU fishing have been elaborated, one for the Mediterranean Sea and one for the Black Sea, as tailored to the specificities of these regions. These roadmaps introduced common objectives and methodologies for countries concerned, taking into account, inter alia, technical, socio-economic or MCS related aspects. The GFCM also established a permanent Working Group on IUU fishing (WG IUU), where experts from the region and beyond discuss the progress in the implementation of the existing measures (such as the two roadmaps cited above) and also consider the next steps to take against illegal fishing. It’s worth stressing that the GFCM adopted a regional scheme on port State measures before the very adoption of the FAO PSMA and that technical standards for mandatory VMS are in place too.

Besides, the GFCM adopted last year a ‘Mid-term Strategy (2017-2020) towards the sustainability of Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries’, which includes one specific target, namely Target 3, aiming to ‘Curb IUU fishing through a regional plan of action’. This regional plan of action, forthcoming, will be the key measure of the GFCM to muster efforts against IUU fishing. It is currently under elaboration and is based on the FAO International Plan of Action against IUU fishing (IPOA-IUU). Thanks to this plan of action, all CPCs will be required to apply the same measures, effective, dissuasive and swift, against IUU fishing. Contrary to the IPOA-IUU, which is a voluntary instrument, CPCs will have to implement the regional plan of action by transposing it into their national legislations.

Concerning VMS and control measures, the GFCM is currently implementing a regionally harmonized control system based on a modular approach (industrial vs small-scale fisheries) in order to facilitate the cooperation and coordination between all the CPCs. A study pilot has been introduced by the GFCM Secretariat and its outcomes will be presented soon to a dedicated working group (the GFCM Working Group on VMS and Control Systems).

Finally, the GFCM jump-started the process which has led to the endorsement by the FAO of the proposal for an ‘International day against IUU fishing’, to be celebrated every year on the 5th of June. This represents a great opportunity to bring all issues related to IUU fishing to the attention of the general public. The proposal still needs to be endorsed by the FAO Conference in July 2017.

mukendi mulumba ludovick's picture

mukendi mulumba... said:

bonjour,

 je tiens à signaler que le forum est une initiative louable du fait qu'elle permet aux régions à faible exploitation de la pèche de faire connaitre les difficultés rencontrées. sur le litorale de mwanda il y a des defits à rélever en ce qui concerne la règlementation de la pèche afin de parler d'une pèche durable. les pècheurs artisaneaux usent très souvent des moyens disproportionnés pour pècher par exemple le non respect de la dimenssion légale de Net. l'entrée pour la plupart non autorisée des produits de pèche importés à savoir des espèces de poissons présent dans nos eaux rend difficile la motivation des pècheurs locaux qui finissent par réaliser très peu de profit et ensuite disparaissent du marché. la réglementation sur la pèche et produits de la pèche est un facteur très important pour assurer une pèche durable dans la région.

RAHERIMIAMINA's picture

RAHERIMIAMINA said:

1-La réalisation de la cible 14.4 d’ici 2020 serait très difficile du fait que d’autres priorités devaient être déjà faites ou en cours. En effet, il est difficile d’avoir de bons résultats dans la surveillance des règlementations de la pêche si l’Etat lui-même n’applique pas la transparence dans l’octroi des licences de pêche par exemple. Ce non transparence entraîne des pratiques illicites d’autres acteurs qui en profitent de la situation.  

Concernant la mise en œuvre des plans de gestion fondés sur la science, cette initiative serait efficace si les acteurs de base, je parle de la population des pêcheurs, seront intégrés pour élaborer les outils nécessaires car ils sont détenteurs de savoir empirique, et sont liés étroitement à leur milieu : ils doivent se ré-approprier ce rôle de maintenir en bon état ces ressources, de les soigner, pour la durabilité de pêche. On ne doit plus les considérer comme une partie marginale de la population, car ils disposent de droits sur la mer comme les agriculteurs sur la terre.

En effet, les petits pêcheurs sont des titulaires de droits fondamentaux ; leurs droits en tant qu’utilisateurs coutumiers et gardiens des ressources halieutiques sont intimement liés à leurs droits humains. Les communautés de pêcheurs établies depuis des générations disposent de droits d’accès en raison de leur histoire particulière, de leur relation avec les zones de pêche, ce à quoi tout le monde n’a pas droit.

2-

Les actions prioritaires sont :

  • il faut insister sur le renforcement des capacités, les activités éducatives pour soutenir la mobilisation et les engagements des artisans pêcheurs, sans cette capacité ils doivent toujours confier à d’autres acteurs qui n’ont pas forcément  les mêmes objectifs, pour faire passer leurs aspirations. Cette capacité leur permet de faire un plaidoyer efficace pour la protection du métier de la pêche artisanale.
  • Il faut faire intervenir et participer les pêcheurs artisans dans tous les processus relatifs à la pêche : dans la recherche, dans l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre des politiques de développement liées à la pêche, etc

3- A titre d’initiative prometteuse, le concept ABALOBI de l’Université de Cap Town en partenariat avec les communautés de pêcheurs de l’Afrique du Sud montre la voie à l’intégration de la population des pêcheurs dans la recherche scientifique. Ce concept donne déjà une image positive car réalisé et tiré de la population locale des pêcheurs car il met en valeur ces pêcheurs, et par conséquence participe déjà à faire des pêcheurs des éléments moteurs dans le processus des recherches scientifiques, dans la lutte contre la pêche illégale et destructrice

Ivan Martinez-Tovar's picture

Ivan Martinez-Tovar said:

1. The main challenges: In the Mexican Pacific are very similar to what others have mentioned. The lack of spatial planning, lack of proper enforcement and knowledge and capacity building with the fishers organizations. When there is no proper management in place, "paper laws" are just that, a powerless regulation. In many regions, NGOs (and in particular local based organizations) are doing the "dirty job" of fulfilling manager's responsibilities.

2. Priority actions: Improve coordination and technical capacity of these organizations on the ground. Improve access to cheap technological opportunities to monitor and collect data, share resources and provide a platform to connect with others experiencing same problematic.



3. Innovative partnerships: In Mexico, managers have in place a system call  "Comite Sistema Producto" (System Product Committee)  A model that contain different stakeholders within the supply chain of a fish product and ran an analysis of the whole fishery (from boat to final consumer) identify areas of improvement along the whole process that includes sustainability and market necessities. and put in place a plan to fulfill those needs. The system as an idea is great but the lack of standardized goals makes it weak. but a good start. Since managers are pushing this model, changes in legislation in case are needed, should be in theory easier to achieve. 

Eleanor Partridge's picture

Eleanor Partridge replied:

Dear Ivan,

Thanks for your input. It would be interesting to learn more about the Comite Sistema Producto - is this a government initiative, or NGO or private sector? Is there a URL where we can learn more?

Ivan Martinez-Tovar's picture

Ivan Martinez-Tovar replied:

Hi Eleanor, 

This is a government initiative. Managers have some funds that can be used for the project and execute improvement activities (e.g. training, or hiring consultants) to a certain amount. You can see extra information here (apologies is in Spanish). The model is pretty much oriented to improve market options for the resources but has been used as a platform for management improvement in the water (e.g. Swimming crab fishery in the Mexican Pacific). I believe that the conglomerate of stakeholders represents a big opportunity if sustainable standards (MSC, Seafood watch, etc) are used as a reference for improvement and to promote changes in policy. Sadly, not a lot of information is available online at this time from the different active committees.  Saludos

Eleanor Partridge's picture

Eleanor Partridge replied:

Dear Ivan,

Thanks for the further info, this does sound promising. I agree that the stakeholder grouping sounds like a great opportunity, I hope it's possible to build on that and incorporate sustainability standards into the process. 

Joe Zelasney's picture

Joe Zelasney said:

Comment Posted on Behalf of Dr Matthew Camilleri, Fisheries Liaison Officer and Lead Technical Officer on PSMA and IUU Fishing

Working Together to Combat IUU Fishing

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing undermines national, regional and international efforts to sustainably manage fisheries. It is, in fact, one of the greatest obstacles in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. The importance attributed to the fight against IUU fishing is explicit in the targets of SDG 14. In target 14.4, the need to tackle IUU fishing, together with implementing science-based management plans and effectively regulating harvesting, is seen as essential in restoring fish stocks. Additionally, although not specifically mentioned, the fight against IUU fishing plays a major role in achieving targets 14.7 and 14.b, whether it is in increasing economic benefits to SIDSs and LDCs or safeguarding access to marine resources for small-scale fishers. Furthermore, enhancements sought within target 14.c in implementing international law as reflected within the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), particularly in relation to duties of States for the management of marine natural resources, have a direct correlation with the fight against IUU

Over the years, the global community has developed a framework of international instruments that represents a powerful suite of tools that can be used to combat IUU fishing. The 2009 FAO Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA), which entered into force on 5 June 2016 and now has more than 40 members, including the European Union, is expected to have a significant impact on IUU fishing.  The Agreement strengthens and harmonizes port controls for foreign-flagged fishing vessels in order to keep IUU fish out of the world’s markets; it requires States to prevent foreign vessels engaged in IUU fishing from entering their ports and / or using port facilities and landing their catches. The effective implementation of the PSMA will reduce the incentive to engage in IUU fishing, bolstering international efforts to combat IUU fishing and contributing to strengthened fisheries management and governance at all levels. 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development highlights the importance of building partnerships and strengthening stakeholder participation as key to progress and success in promoting and effectively implementing activities in support of Sustainable Development Goals targets.  Addressing IUU fishing is critical to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular, in SDG 14.  IUU fishing threatens food security and sustainable livelihoods of people in many parts of the world.  FAO and its multiple partners in this area working to ensure that the complex issue of IUU fishing is addressed in a cohesive manner.

Putting the PSMA into Action

The PSMA is based on the fundamental principles of cooperation and collaboration, which are essential to in the fight against IUU fishing.  Robust implementation of PSMA will require cooperation at the global, regional and national level.

The 1st Meeting of the Parties to the PSMA and 1st Meeting of the ad hoc Working Group to be established under Article 21 of the Agreement will be held in Oslo from 29 to 31 May 2017 and from 1 to 2 June 2017, respectively. Both meetings will be hosted by the Government of Norway. The 1st Meeting of the Parties is expected to address various aspects of the implementation of the PSMA, including:

  • the responsibilities of the concerned States, Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), FAO and other international organizations and bodies;
  • matters concerning the transmittal, electronic exchange and publication of information;
  • procedures for monitoring, review and assessment of the implementation of the Agreement, and;
  • the rules of procedure for the meetings of the Parties.

The 1st Meeting of the Parties may consider periodically convening informal consultations and ad hoc technical open-ended Working Groups to discuss matters related to the implementation of the Agreement. As called for by the Agreement, review meetings will also take place, at least every four years, in order to review and assess its effectiveness. As appropriate, FAO will provide Secretariat and administrative support to such consultations and meetings.

Requirements of developing States

The PSMA recognizes the need for assistance to developing countries to adopt and implement port State measures – and requires Parties to cooperate to establish appropriate funding mechanisms to assist developing States in the implementation of this Agreement.  States that have not already done so may wish to consider committing to become a Party to the PSMA.

Article 21 represents a key component of the Agreement concerning the requirements of developing States that underscores the issue of capacity building to facilitate the Agreement’s implementation.  The 1st Meeting of the ad hoc Working Group to be established under Article 21 of the Agreement is expected to:

  • review the functioning of the ad hoc Working Group;
  • discuss and agree on priorities for supporting developing States Parties in the implementation of the Agreement, and;
  • make recommendations to the Parties on the establishment of funding mechanisms, including a scheme for contributions, identification and mobilization of funds. The Terms of Reference for funding mechanisms should take into account various possible mechanisms, types of assistance and necessary administrative processes that should be in place to effectively facilitate the uptake of the Agreement, as well as experiences and developments of similar funding mechanisms of other international instruments, such as the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement and other initiatives developed by FAO.

Building upon, inter alia, support provided by the Government of Norway to identify the policy, institutional, legal and operational requirements for the effective implementation of the provisions of the Agreement, FAO has formulated a global capacity development Programme to step up assistance to developing countries in the implementation of the Agreement and complementary instruments. The Programme is expected to respond to multiple requests for assistance received by FAO from

States, including those affected by trade sanctions imposed due to non-compliance with set requirements. The Programme may be considered by the Parties as an overall framework for the administration and management of the funding mechanisms under Article 21.

FAO is currently seeking the backing of potential partners and donors for the global capacity development Programme.  So far, the United States of America has confirmed a contribution to the Programme (US$900 000 plus in-kind contribution; project under formulation) and discussions are underway to secure funding from the Republic of Korea (US$2.5 million; as pledged during the 32nd Session of FAO Committee on Fisheries).  

Meanwhile, FAO funded national, regional and inter-regional Technical Cooperation Programmes, with funding in excess of US$1.5 million, are currently on-going to assist a number of countries enhancing their capacity to combat IUU fishing through port State measures and complementary instruments.

FAO’s responsibilities in the implementation of the PSMA

The entry into force of the PSMA brought about new duties for FAO in relation to its implementation. The Agreement requires, inter alia, that:

  • Parties provide a list of designated ports to FAO and that the list is publicised by FAO.
  • Parties designate an authority that shall act as a focal point for the exchange of information under the Agreement and notify FAO of the designation.
  • Parties transmit the results of each inspection to the flag State and to other relevant Parties and States, RFMOs, FAO and other relevant international organisations.
  • Parties cooperate to establish an electronic information-sharing mechanism, preferably coordinated by FAO.
  • FAO requests relevant RFMOs to provide information concerning measures or decisions adopted and implemented in relation to the Agreement.
  • Flag States report to Parties, port States, other relevant States, RFMOs and FAO on actions taken, as a result of port State measures, in respect of their vessels which have engaged in IUU fishing.
  • Parties, directly or through FAO, other specialized agencies of the United Nations and RFMOs provide assistance to developing States Parties in line with the provisions under Article 21 of the Agreement.
  • Parties ensure regular monitoring and review of the Agreement as well as assessment of progress in achieving its objective, within the framework of FAO.
  • FAO contributes, as appropriate, to: (i) fostering cooperation among Parties in the implementation of the Agreement; (ii) determining the minimum levels of inspection of vessels; (iii) the development of procedures to identify States not acting in accordance with the Agreement.
Jeremy Rude's picture

Jeremy Rude said:

Most global fisheries operate without much regulation under what are called “open access systems;” systems that incentivize fishermen to catch as much fish as they can as quickly as they can, leading to overfishing and destructive fishing practices. But it has been demonstrated that when fishermen are provided with the right incentives and are rewarded by the market or by policies that are based on sound estimates of what it happening on the water, they can tailor their fishing practices to be more sustainable. Of the more than 10,000 fisheries worldwide, however, less than 500 of them are currently managed with a scientific process that measures the health of its fish stocks. This means that less than 5% of our world’s fisheries have the basic research and management capacity to determine if the fish populations they harvest from are healthy or depleted. When the condition if the resource is unknown, it is hard to establish sound harvest rules and even harder to get fishermen to abide by these rules if they have not participated in the process.

To date, most fishery assessment techniques available are highly complicated and expensive to apply – limiting where they can be used. Public funds that can support advanced fisheries management are not available in most geographies. It can be expensive and risky to experiment with different approaches to managing fisheries, and because most governments are already limited in resource and capacity (including in the US) there is little appetite to take on this risk and try something new. Finally, governments and bureaucracies can be slow to change, while ocean ecosystems and the humans that depend on them are part of highly dynamic systems.

The solution to ending overfishing, IUU fishing, and destructive fishing practices is not about picking one type of management solution (e.g. catch shares or marine protected areas) and applying it everywhere. Instead, tailored solutions and context-specific, scientific tools are needed that incentivize and prioritize the most beneficial management actions based on a fishery’s or community’s needs and resources.

As a first step, it is necessary to engage directly with fishermen/industry and with governments to improve or implement data collection and monitoring plans (and work to secure early buy-in from fishery managers or government because they are critical in scaling any solutions). This information is critical to continually improving management plans over time and to gain the support of the community for fisheries policies and regulations. There are two key mechanisms to scale up successful solutions that benefit fishery resources and the people that depend on them.

  1. Policies, implemented by governments
  2. Market incentives, driven by consumer demand

Governments want to ensure that wild fishery resources still provide incomes/jobs and revenues for their countries/constituents, but they don’t know how or don’t have the capacity and resources to do so. By working with governments and providing the tools and demonstrating success on the ground, we can get governments to adopt reforms at state, provincial, and national levels.

Buyers want sustainable seafood, but there is not enough supply. In Europe and in the US, more than 50% of retailers have committed to sustainable seafood sources, but they cannot find sufficient supply. By working with key markets actors, such as leading companies and arbiters of seafood certification, we can scale up our approach and solutions in the marketplace. When you demonstrate success you build a constituency advocating for a reform model to governments and markets. Policy and market rewards work as reinforcement mechanisms.

Charles Brown's picture

Charles Brown said:

1.       What are the challenges faced in your area in making fisheries sustainable?

a) One of the challenges is catching immature fish which affects fish breeding that leads to fish depletion

b) Poor harvesting, handling and preservation methods. This leads to low prices and therefore fishers have to go fishing all the time hence too much pressure on the fisheries resource.

c) Lack of alternative sources of income and skills to engage in other economic activities. All the efforts are directed towards capture fish and this many times leads to over exploitation of the fisheries resource that affects its sustainability.

d) Weak legislation on fisheries. The penalties for culprits who engage in practices that destroy the resource are very weak hence perpetuating the practices eg in Uganda a person would be found with 2 tones of immature fish and when they are taken to court they pay a fine of 20,000/= ( like $10 -20)

e) Corruption: The fisheries officials who are supposed to regulate illegalities like catching and trading in immature fish are bribed and they leave the offenders to continue with these practices that affect fisheries sustainability.

What are the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' to make fisheries sustainable?

a) Having more engagements with the local fisher folks to sensitize them about the sustainable fishing practices. Let them understand and appreciate its importance towards fisheries sustainability  

b) Training the fisher folks in better harvesting, handling and preservation methods

c) Influencing governments to have better legislation on fisheries and enforce these laws  

d) Continuous research within the fisheries sector to understand the problems towards fisheries sustainability. Research should be continuous because of the changing dynamics 

Please share any innovative partnerships - existing or proposed - aimed at making fisheries sustainable.

a) In Uganda we have the military working with the local fisher to clear all fishing illegalities. Liberated areas are handed back to local leaders and local fisher folks to continue with monitoring. Local committees are set up to monitor and ensure that illegalities don’t come up again.  

Gary Orr's picture

Gary Orr said:

What are the challenges faced in your community, country, or region, or from the perspective of your organization, in achieving Target 14.4?

New Zealand has committed significant resources into capability development in the Pacific region both in terms of fisheries management and also compliance monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement.  The challenge we see with developing nations is not so much the capability as with training the officials in these nations are more than capable of undertaking effective management and enforcement, it is more the capacity as many of the fisheries agencies (and other law enforcement agencies that also have an interest in crime associated with the fishing industry) have very limited capacity due to the size of the respective agencies.  The demands on these small agencies from their administrations are significant, especially where there are requirements consequent to treaty obligations. Growing demands without a corresponding increase in resources poses a significant risk.  As Deon has rightly pointed out below, where the capacity (and/or capability) falls short then that presents opportunities for exploitation by criminal elements.  When dealing with developing nations, one has to take an holistic view of how you might achieve sustainability and that means utilising all government agencies, not just fisheries.  It is often extremely difficult to detect/disrupt/deter IUU fishing and inter-agency cooperation provides the best platform for doing so, especially when supported by robust and effective regional agreements. Information sharing and operational cooperation are also vital, both domestically and across nations.

What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.4?

It is important that we educate agencies other than fisheries of the risks posed by the fishing industry, both in terms of economic risk as well as security risk. Non-fishery agencies need to accord their monitoring of this sector a greater priority instead of giving it the low priority many currently assign. Countries are losing valuable food resources as well as revenue through taxation etc with the fraud that is endemic in many parts of the world.

Deon Burger's picture

Deon Burger said:

Hello all, a few thoughts from INTERPOL here in Lyon.

What are the challenges faced in your community, country, or region, or from the perspective of your organization, in achieving Target 14.4?

From an international law enforcement perspective, a key challenge revolves around strengthening weaknesses in national jurisdictions. Criminals currently target these weaknesses by use of corruption, taking advantage of legal loopholes, or evading weak control systems at sea, in port or at the borders where the fishery products are traded.



This allows transnational organized crime networks to exploit the fisheries sector across the globe, depleting fish stocks, affecting vulnerable communities, undermining national economies and threatening food security.



As an international law enforcement organization, INTERPOL supports cooperation and innovation on police and security matters by ensuring that states have critical information on illegal fishing vessel activities and associated fisheries crime. The Oceans Conference represents a unique opportunity to call into focus our law enforcement role in achieving Target 14.4 and to encourage states and supporting organizations to submit information that can be incorporated into our global enforcement network to advance investigative objectives.



What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.4?



In order to reach a state of sustainable global development, as highlighted by the United Nations, it is suggested that the international community focus on evolving state practice in ocean security responses in accordance with science-based methods. It is important the global community consider the importance of enforcement initiatives to counter organized crime networks and reduce regional conflicts. A sustained, professional and consistently strong international enforcement response to IUU fishing and fisheries crime, will also create a deterrence effect, as more and more criminal organizations, reason that the risk of capture and conviction is greater than the potential reward.



Please share below any innovative partnerships aimed at achieving Targets 14.4 - existing or proposed - that you are aware of or involved in that can be highlighted at the June Ocean Conference and that can advance effective actions from local to global levels.



To achieve Target 14.4 INTERPOL coordinate their efforts with a range of governmental and non-governmental organisations. These include the Governments of Norway, the United States and the PEW Charitable Trusts. Other partnerships include operational communication with UNFAO and capacity development activities with UNODC.



The upcoming jointly held INTERPOL/UNODC Fisheries Crime symposium, and the 6th INTERPOL Fisheries Crime Working Group will be held in Vienna from the 25th – 29th of September 2017. Both of these events represent a fantastic opportunity for heads of investigative authorities with operational priorities in maintaining ocean security to come together, to discuss opportunities for translating political commitments into adequate implementation of national and international law.



Topics of the symposium will include consultation on international preparation of law enforcement assets and intelligence management capacities, the deployment of investigative forces for multi-country investigations, the identification and detention of high risk vessels, investigations into criminal business models operating in urban environments, and the prosecution of organized fisheries crime networks.

Sandy Davies's picture

Sandy Davies said:

Hello to everyone, a few thoughts from Stop Illegal Fishing, based in Africa.

1 – Challenges

In East Africa/the Western Indian Ocean ending IUU fishing by 2020 will be a big challenge! The tuna fishery alone attracts around 460 industrial fishing vessels from around the world, including an Asian owned longline fleet of around 400 vessels (200 of which are Taiwanese flagged). This creates many challenges, for example, coastal and port States struggle to verify information such as: vessel identity (is the vessel who they say it is?); registration (is the vessel really registered to the flag it is flying or are the documents fake, or even real but based on false information?); and ownership (are details provided correct or simply PO boxes and shell companies?). Evidence of false and forged documents, repainting of false vessel names, hoisting of any flag and providing inaccurate or incomplete information appears to be extremely common – verifying this is a challenge. When the coastal or port States have evidence of illegal fishing, related or associated activity, the actions they can take are also limited due to lack of information about/or issues of jurisdiction in respect to the owners/operators. This has resulted in abandonment or absconding of vessels, abandoned crew and unpaid fines. 

2 – Priority Actions

AVAILABLE INFORMATION AND CROSS-CHECKING: Increase the availability and access to fishing vessel, registration (flag), fishing licence and business information. This must be the starting point to enable cross checking and to enable the identification of false and forged information. Linking up coastal, port, flag and market States to share this information and validate it is essential. The wider sharing of this information into the public domain is the next step.

MULTI-AGENCY APPROACH: Tackling serious organised crime by developing a coordinated multi-agency approach to deal with the kingpins who are orchestrating much of the illegality and crimes in the fisheries sector – including: illegal fishing, human labour abuses, arms/drugs/wildlife trafficking and murder.

WORKING TOGETHER: Finding ways to work with the fishing industry, the consumers and other actors to share information and to have more eyes and ears in port and at sea, to help stop illegal operations.

SUPPORT THOSE ON THE FRONTLINE: Increase the recognition of the important work that fisheries officers and inspectors do, to ensure political support for their work, ongoing capacity building and accessible tools to do their job.

3 – Innovative Partnerships 

FISH-i Africa has been mentioned, and this is a partnership of eight countries in East Africa which incorporates a number of the above-mentioned priority actions in an attempt to create a united regional approach to fighting illegal fishing find out more at www.fish-i-africa.org.

Following the success of FISH-i, and based on its model, the West Africa Task Force (WATF) was established. The WATF is newer than the FISH-i Task Force, however promising work has been achieved, particularly the level of national inter-agency cooperation.

Currently, Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF), coordinates a network of people working to fight illegal fishing across Africa, find out more at www.stopillegalfishing.com.

Konstantin Zgurovsky's picture

Konstantin Zgurovsky said:

  1. The main challenges which we face in our country in achieving Target 14.4 are quite typical: absence of the EBM, overfishing and IUU, destruction of essential habitats, fleet overcapacity, discard and bycatch, low domestic demand for sustainable seaffod.
  2. Priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.4: Better monitoring, introduction of multi-species ecosytem based management, fleet capacity reduction, elimination of bycatch and discard, seafood trade transparency improvement.
  3. Innovative partnership aimed at achieving Targets 14.4 is the WWF Russia partnership with MSC certified fishing companies on their fishing impact reduction, vulnerable habitats portection, gear improvement, etc.

 

Eleanor Partridge's picture

Eleanor Partridge replied:

Dear Konstantin,

Thanks for your insights. It would be interesting to know more about the partnership between WWF Russia and MSC certified companies and what the results of this have been - is there a link to more information? 

Lucy Erickson's picture

Lucy Erickson replied:

Dear Eleanor and Konstantin,

Thank you for including the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in your discussions.



The Russia Sea of Okhotsk pollock is an MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified fishery, and there are other fisheries in Russian engaged with the MSC program and WWF Russia. 

The MSC monitoring and evaluation program has found that many certified fisheries around the world make improvements to their sustainability performance (see analysis in Global Impact Report 2016), including gear modifications and protection for vulnerable habitats. 

The sustainable management practices of certified fisheries help contribute to Goal 14 outcomes of ending overfishing and restoring stocks to levels that can maintain maximum sustainable yield.

We would be very happy to continue discussions (standards@msc.org) and look forward to the Ocean Conference in June!

All the best

Lucy

Vivienne Solis Rivera's picture

Vivienne Solis ... said:

I believe that at least in Latin America there is a very important difference between illegal fishing and non-formalized fishing which might cause a lot of confusion and injustice in how we implement this Target. States need to generate the necessary information (coming from science and traditional knowledge) to be able to recognize the rights of communities to sustainable use of the fisheries starting by recognizing the rights of indigenous people and local communities. So I do believe that better information and clarification of this issues is important. Indigenous People and Local communities Conserved areas ( ICCAs) are a good way in which we can recognized this rights under the recognition of local governance schemes, a good example of this are the Marine Responsible fishing areas in Costa Rica and the LMMAs in Asia.

Eleanor Partridge's picture

Eleanor Partridge replied:

Dear Vivienne,

You make a very good point. I think this relates also to the ongoing challenge we face to distinguish between solutions for illegal versus unregulated and unreported fishing – particularly as IUU sometimes seems to be used interchangeably with ‘illegal’, leaving out the U and the U. It would be very interesting to know whether there are examples of ICCAs that are seeking to improve levels of reporting and regulation as part of their approach, and how they are tackling this.

Vivienne Solis Rivera's picture

Vivienne Solis ... replied:

Dear Eleanor: Your comments makes me think in another huge challenge that we face concerning this issue. Control and vigilance is indeed important but more important is to have an integrated approach towards improving livelihoods of the fishing people in these areas, for example we have just approved yesterday the recognition of mollusk women rights to gathering these mollusk in Chomes - Costa Rica. Interesting example since they have been non-formal for a long time (since ever!!) using the mangrove fishing resources without the recognition of the State. Today they are able to locally manage and control the resource. This is a good example today of an ICCA, where yesterday the State through the National Fishing and aquaculture institute recognized there right. For this to happen there has been a two year process of support of an holistic perspective that included cultural identity recuperation, selfsteem and recognition of the need for a decent work for these women, training, health, the elaboration of a participatory management plan and the participation of different institutions that worked together with the INCOPESCA and civil society ( the women institute, the IMAS, the Ministry of labor etc). So we do need to work on control and vigilance, but it seems to me we need to ask "what comes first..the chicken or the egg". In the case of some of these issues, I believe that the recognition of communitary local governance models and the integration of traditional and scientific knowledge are issues to talk about when we are discussing regulation and control. What an interesting discussion we need to bring it to the SDG 14 discussion in NY!!

Sarah Poon's picture

Sarah Poon said:

Millions of fishermen and women around the world are struggling to catch more fish from an ever-dwindling supply. If nothing changes, more than 80% of the world’s fisheries will be in need of recovery by 2030—a crisis for the more than 3.5 billion people worldwide who will depend on fish as an important source of protein. Much of the world’s fish is caught in small-scale, coastal fisheries that support vulnerable communities. Many such fisheries are already in trouble, and the human population in these nearshore areas is growing. Scientific research indicates that is possible to recover the world’s fisheries in our lifetimes, so that we have more fish, more food and more prosperity. Peer-reviewed findings show that sustainable fishing could recover three-quarters of the world’s fisheries in just ten years. To achieve this recovery, however, there is an urgent need to scale effective management solutions that put an end to overfishing.

Secure fishing rights—also known as “tenure rights” or “rights-based management”—are one such approach that can be established to drive fishery sustainability around the world. When fishers are assured long-term access to their fisheries through fishing rights—in the form of defined areas (Territorial Use Rights for Fishing, or TURFs) or quotas—they are empowered to preserve the resource that sustains them because they will benefit from their conservation actions.

States and stakeholders can promote fishery sustainability by enabling appropriate allocation of fishing rights and ensuring programs are designed to meet the biological, economic and social goals of stakeholders. Participatory decision making processes should be set up to engage fishers and other stakeholders in the design and ongoing management of the program. Multi-stakeholder groups can define program features, such as mechanisms to hold fishery participants accountable to science-based limits on harvest. While certain features tend to be consistent across programs, such as the presence of accountability mechanisms to promote compliance, experiences from around the world show that secure fishing rights can take a variety of forms to adapt to the local context.

Strong partnerships are needed to ensure there is support for sustainable fisheries management at all levels—from strong national policies to inclusive, bottom-up engagement. Partnerships between governments, fishing communities, CSOs, NGOs, academic institutions, and others are valuable for bringing together diverse perspectives and skills. Such partnerships can be helpful for engaging stakeholders in participatory decision making; providing appropriate scientific tools and management advice; supporting research, monitoring and communication; strengthening capacity; and other support to ensure management systems promote the long-term sustainability of fisheries.

Eleanor Partridge's picture

Eleanor Partridge replied:

Dear Sarah,

Thanks for sharing your perspective. It’s great to see examples of the rights-based approach in use in a variety of different fisheries. It would be very interesting to hear your thoughts on whether there are particular characteristics of a fishery that increase the likelihood that the rights-based approach can be applied succesfully.

Sarah Poon's picture

Sarah Poon replied:

Thank you for this great question Eleanor. There are such diverse experiences with rights-based management around the world, so it is difficult to say that there are certain fishery characteristics that increase the likelihood of success. Rather, I think it's important to design a fishery management program for success, taking into account the characteristics of the fishery and the goals of fishery stakeholders (i.e., how fishery participants define success). For example, certain types of fisheries will be more appropriate for TURF management (allocation of area-based rights) whereas others might lend themselves well to quota-based rights. And where quota-based rights are appropriate, there is then a design question of whether to allocate quotas to individuals, cooperatives, community groups, or some combination of these. (Types of design decisions for rights-based management are outlined in detail in EDF's Design Manuals). These design decisions depend on fishery characteristics and the preferences and customs of fishery stakeholders (especially fishermen and their communities). Some of the other factors we find especially important for driving success in our work are: participatory decision making processes that promote adaptive management, security of fishing rights to reward fishermen for stewardship in the long run, and mechanisms for holding fishery participants accountable to science-based limits on fishing mortality that promote long-term sustainability of the fishery.

Joe Zelasney's picture

Joe Zelasney said:

Comentarios presentados en nombre de la Organización del Sector de Pesca y Acuicultura del Istmo Centroamericano (OSPESCA), en relación al Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible 14.4 (SDG 14.4): "Regular de manera efectiva la recolección y terminar con la pesca excesiva, la pesca ilegal, no declarada y no reglamentada y las prácticas pesqueras destructivas; para restaurar las poblaciones de peces en el menor tiempo posible".

¿Cuáles son los retos a los que se enfrenta su comunidad, país o región, o desde la perspectiva de su organización, para lograr el Objetivo 14.4?

La Organización del Sector Pesquero  y Acuícola del Istmo Centroamericano (OSPESCA) es una institución conformada por las instituciones de pesca y acuicultura del Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana (SICA), integrado por Belice, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá y República Dominicana.

En la región de OSPESCA, los mayores retos son:

  • El conocimiento de los efectos e impacto de la Pesca INDNR sobre los recursos pesqueros y la restauración de las poblaciones; así como de las normativas que a nivel internacional, regional y nacional rigen la materia, tanto para aguas marinas como continentales.
  • El desarrollo de las capacidades de las instituciones de pesca en cuanto al personal administrativo y de campo responsable de las inspecciones, así como de los recursos logísticos para el ejercicio de sus labores.
  • El incremento de las coordinaciones y cooperación entre las instituciones de pesca y seguridad en la prevención y control de la Pesca INDNR, de manera a juntar esfuerzos las acciones que realizan contra estas acciones ilegales que se relacionan con la pesca.

¿Cuáles son las acciones prioritarias que todos podemos reunir en un "Llamado a la Acción" global para lograr el Objetivo 14.4?

Como acciones prioritarias en torno a reunir un “Llamado a la Acción”, global es conveniente:

  • El fortalecimiento de las redes internacionales, regionales y nacionales para la prevención y control de la Pesca INDNR, mediante el intercambio de información, la generación de metodologías y procedimientos armonizados, así como su ejecución en el monitoreo, control y vigilancia.
  • El establecimiento de programas y/o proyectos de cooperación que permita la implementación de los instrumentos dirigidos a luchar contra la Pesca INDNR, como es el Registro Mundial y el Acuerdo sobre Medidas del Estado Rector del Puerto y los instrumentos internacionales conexos, entre otros.
  • La implementación de directrices internacionales y la coordinación en su ejecución que garanticen la comercialización de productos provenientes de la pesca legal, declarada y reglamentada, como son las Directrices Voluntarias para los Sistemas de Documentación de las Capturas, la trazabilidad, entre otras.

Por favor, comparta cualquier asociación innovadora - existente o propuesta - de la cual usted esté consciente o involucrado, que pueda avanzar acciones efectivas desde el nivel local hasta el global para alcanzar el Objetivo 14.4.

El “Protocolo de Tegucigalpa a la Carta de la Organización de Estaos Centroamericanos” por la cual se crea el Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana (SICA), establece en su artículo 22, que las decisiones de los Consejos de Ministro serán de obligatorio cumplimiento en todos los Estados miembros y sólo podrán oponerse a su ejecución disposiciones de carácter legal.

En atención a este precepto legal, OSPESCA ha establecido su “Modelo de Gobernanza”, a través de un proceso participativo entre la sociedad civil, los sectores productivos y las instituciones de pesca, que permite de manera consensuada la presentación a través de sus órganos de reglamentos y resoluciones que brindan un ordenamiento para la ejecución de una pesca y acuicultura responsable y sostenible.

En dicho marco, se han establecido nueve (9) reglamentos regionales, uno de los cuales se establece en conjunto con el Consejo de Ministros responsables de la sanidad acuícola. Entre ellos podemos mencionar algunos relativos al combarte de la Pesca INDNR como son:

  • Reglamento OSP-01-09 del Sistema Integrado de Registro Pesquero y Acuícola Centroamericano (SIRPAC),, mediante el cual se presenta el registro pesquero y acuícola regional.
  • Reglamento OSP-02-09 para el Ordenamiento Regional de la Pesquería de la langosta del Caribe (Panulirus argus), el cual establece las medidas vinculantes que permitan la armonización de la normativa y ordenación de las pesquerías de Langosta del Caribe en la región.
  • Reglamento OSP 03-10 para la creación e implementación gradual de un sistema regional de seguimiento y control satelital de embarcaciones pesquera de los estados del istmo centroamericano, por el cual se establece el marco jurídico regional para la creación e implementación gradual de un sistema regional de seguimiento y control satelital de embarcaciones pesqueras de los Estados del Istmo Centroamericano.
  • Reglamento Regional OSP-05-11 para prohibir la práctica del aleteo del tiburón en los países parte del SICA, por el cual se establecen medidas de ordenamiento regional para el aprovechamiento sostenible del recurso tiburón que contribuyan a la erradicación de la práctica del aleteo.
  • Reglamento Regional OSP-06-13 sobre el uso adecuado de dispositivos excluidores de tortugas marinas (DETs), que establece un marco de actuación regional para la protección de las tortugas marinas mediante el uso adecuado de los Dispositivos Excluidores de Tortugas.
  • Reglamento Regional OSP-08-14 para Prevenir, Desalentar y Eliminar la Pesca Ilegal, No Declarada y No Reglamentada en los Países Miembros del SICA, por el cual se fomenta la adopción de disposiciones armónicas orientadas a prevenir, desalentar y eliminar la Pesca INDNR.
Ashwini Sathnur's picture

Ashwini Sathnur said:

  1. What are the challenges faced in your community, country, or region, or from the perspective of your organization, in achieving Target 14.4?

The primary objectives of fishing is to make available human food consumption supply. Hence the most important characteristics that requires to be achieved is healthy consumption of fish food, and no occurrences of adulterated fish food. Ideally, achieveing 100% criteria of these objectives is impossible - due to the reasons of unknown quality of fish that are originating from unknown sources of islands and waters. Also causes of unknown cleanliness regions in the seas, oceans and tank beds, from which the fish is picked up, as edible items for human beings. Hence Health of human beings could be termed as a challenge in the community, country or region across the globe.

  1. What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.4?

Since health is primary factor to be achieved, we could categorize "Accessibility Guidelines" as a global "Calls for Action". Also leading to the achievement of Accessibility standards which are applicable for the human beings who consume the fish food supply.

  1. Please share below any innovative partnerships aimed at achieving Targets 14.4 - existing or proposed - that you are aware of or involved in that can be highlighted at the June Ocean Conference and that can advance effective actions from local to global levels.

An innovative solution termed "Accessibility for Sea, Ocean and River Transportation" is created by myself which aims to achieve the Targets 14.4 - proposed!

Joe Zelasney's picture

Joe Zelasney replied:

Dear Ashwini,

Thank you for sharing your perspective.  You raise a great point when you state that the primary objective of fishing is to make food available for human consumption!  Maintaining fish quality from capture to delivery to consumers is of course essential to meeting this primary objective.  Your comment also underscores the point that the SDGs are inter-related, I can see related work being undertaken the following SDG goals and targets: 

  • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 14.b Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets

It would be interesting to learn more about the “Accessibility Guidelines” you refer to, is there a link you can share?  Who developed these guidelines?

Likewise, it would be interesting to hear more about, "Accessibility for Sea, Ocean and River Transportation."  How would this partnership contribute to achieving SDG 14.4?

Karen Sack's picture

Karen Sack said:

The biggest challenge is having the capacity and resources to tackle these issues, especially IUU fishing.  One of the best examples of an innovative partnership is Fish-i:Africa.  

Joe Zelasney's picture

Joe Zelasney replied:

Thank you Karen, 

That is the second reference posted regarding the FISH-i Africa initiative.  I look forward to learning more about the work they are doing and the results they are acheiving. 

Akintola Shehu Latunji's picture

Akintola Shehu ... said:

  1. What are the challenges faced in your community, country, or region, or from the perspective of your organization, in achieving Target 14.4?

 The lack of governance guideline  remains the critical challenge hindering the development of the fisheries sector generally and specifically attainment of target 14.4 in Nigeria. The absence of a general legal and management framework has contineously hindered  developmental effort in the fishing industry. Efforts aimed at providing a legal framework by the enactment of the Fisheries Act 2014  suffered a major setback with the failure to achieve a presidential assent. Whereas, there are substantiall provisions in the Act which address the issue of science-based management plan, the lack of political will through the instrumentality of presidential assent has has effectively destroy the good intentions to address issue of sustainable fisheries management.

A key provision of the Act is the establishment of a Fisheries Commission. The functions of the Commission include: 1. The Commission, subject to the provisions of this Act, shall— a. take measures, implement actions and otherwise perform its duties so as to ensure the long-term conservation, management and sustainable utilisation of fisheries resources, in order to meet the needs of present and future generations; b. develop, apply and implement conservation, management and development practices based on sound management principles and generally recognised international standards and best practices, including— i. application of precautionary approaches to the conservation, management and development of fisheries and aquaculture; ii. application of ecosystem approaches to the conservation, management and development of fisheries and aquaculture iii. prevention and, where necessary, reduction of over-fishing, in particular to ensure that levels of fishing capacity and fishing effort do not exceed those commensurate with the sustainable utilisation of fisheries resources; iv. taking into account the particular rights, interests and needs of artisanal and subsistence fishers; v. adoption of integrated approaches to fisheries and other ocean and inland waters management, including by minimising, to the extent practicable, conflicts among fishers using the same maritime space or water body and between fishers and other users of the same maritime space or water body; and vi. implementation of good governance, accountability and transparency, including the need to involve fisheries stakeholders and fishing communities in all levels of decision-making; c. take measures, where necessary in cooperation with other public agencies, to implement and enforce compliance with the provisions of international agreements, protocols, conventions and treaties on fisheries and aquaculture; d. implement and enforce management and control measures through registration, licensing and permitting systems; e. implement and enforce measures to minimize or mitigate the adverse effects of fishing and aquaculture on the marine, coastal and inland aquatic environments and on non-target aquatic biological diversity and ecosystems; f. undertake, coordinate, utilize and promote the expansion of research, experiments, surveys and studies by public or private agencies, institutions and organizations concerning fish, fisheries and fishing operations; g. collect and share, in a timely manner and in accordance with generally recommended international standards and best practices, data concerning fisheries and aquaculture, as well as information from national and international research programmes; promote sustainable trade in fish and fishery products, including through the application of generally recognised international standards and rules on post-harvest practices, trade and sanitary and phytosanitary systems and marketing; i. in collaboration with other relevant agencies, and with the approval of the Minister, establish programmes for setting standards and regulations for the maintenance, restoration and enhancement of the nation’s fisheries resources; j. enforce compliance with laws, guidelines, policies, standards and other conservation and management measures, including by– i. adopting appropriate measures for monitoring, control and surveillance; ii. conducting offshore, onshore and field follow-up of compliance with regulations, licence conditions and set standards; iii. and take procedures prescribed by law against any violator; iv. conduct public investigations on overfishing and other activities or incidents harmful to fisheries resources or to the fisheries sector; k. coordinate and liaise with stakeholders, within and outside Nigeria, on matters concerning fisheries and aquaculture; l. create public awareness and provide education on sustainable fisheries management, promote private sector compliance with fisheries regulations; m. take measures to avoid, minimise and resolve disputes between individuals in the fisheries sector; n. submit for the approval of the Minister, proposals for the evolution and review of existing guidelines, regulations and standards on fisheries and aquaculture; and 2. carry out the functions and duties specified for it, or its officers, in this Act with respect to the Act’s implementation and administration. 3. The Minister may give general directions in writing on matters of policy. 4. In carrying out the activities described in subsection (1), the Commission shall a. comply with any directions given by the Minister under subsection (3); b. take into account the objectives of national fisheries policy in section 2; c. as appropriate, and where applicable, take into account any relevant recommendations of the National Fisheries Stakeholder Forum.

Given the scenarios that no  policy document is in place to drive sustainable development in the industry it has become impossible to guage the indicator as in 14.4.1 Proportion of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels. In my view, there is really a huge information gap on the stock levels of the fisheries of Nigeria. Many of the information available are not carried out the required scale and levels for which meaningfully conclussion may be drawn on the estiamted stock level.

It is important to note that IUU remain a challenge and the lack of insitutional coordination has impacted nagatively on drive to curtail the nefarious activities of many foreign fleets in the teritorial water of the country. The monitoring, controla and survailnce and control (MCS) remain ineffective as a result of many factors which include limited capacity and funding to ensure effective survailance. It is however heartwarming that the Federal Department of Fisheries is building on regional initiatives to comabt IUU through the acquisiton of infrascture to ensure vessel monitoring system is put in place.

At the regional level, efforts of Ghana is very much commendable in relation to the giant stride being undertaken. Ghana has in place a ministry of fisheries and a fisheries commission. These development have facilitated the rapid efforts of the country toward putting in place a mechanism for effective MCS. It has well developed master plan for its marine park and sooner than later join the league of nations with national parks within its quest towards ocean sustainability. 

Joe Zelasney's picture

Joe Zelasney replied:

Dear Akintola,

Thank you for sharing your perspective regarding challenges to achieving sustainable fisheries management.  I agree with you that clear governance guidelines are critical to the development and use of fisheries resources.  What is the current status of the “Fisheries Act 2014”?  Is the law still being considered?

You also raise a critical point regarding information related to the stock levels of the fisheries. As you state, the assessments currently undertaken are not carried out in a way that allows meaningful conclusions to be drawn on estimated stock levels.  Would the “Fisheries Act 2014” provide resources to undertake more robust stock assessments?

It is encouraging to hear you say that the Federal Department of Fisheries is building on regional initiatives to combat IUU through the acquisition of infrastructure to ensure a vessel-monitoring system is put in place.  And that other countries in the region are making also progress.  Are you aware of, or involved in, any regional efforts to combat IUU fishing?

The Pew Charitable Trusts (Andrew Friedman)'s picture

The Pew Charita... said:

3. Please share below any innovative partnerships aimed at achieving Targets 14.4

In 2013, The Pew Charitable Trusts commenced a 10 year program bringing together governments, the private sector, and civil society to build a new tool to combat illegal fishing. The result, Project Eyes on the Seas, has produced a system that can provide enforcement officials in any jurisdiction with access to clear and up-to-date information from a central, reliable source so they can take action against illegal fishing, all with a single click of a computer mouse or text message. Working together are:
• Catapult, a United Kingdom-based satellite applications incubator and innovator. It has supplied the satellite technology that makes monitoring and surveillance possible, even in capacity-constrained jurisdictions. It provides a risk index on fishing vessel behavior to help countries carry out enforcement in their waters, and can assist retailers to understand better the risks in their supply chain.
• FISH-i Africa, a consortium of eight East African nations committed to cooperative action to combat illegal fishing in their waters. FISH-i countries are already collaborating successfully in this regard and will be one of the first regions to leverage this satellite technology, along with strengthening key policies, to demonstrate system’s full viability (for more information see: https://www.fish-i-africa.org/what-we-do/our-impacts/ and https://www.fish-i-africa.org/all-publications/)
• INTERPOL, which effectively supports the project by ensuring that states have the most up-to-date information on illegal fishing vessel activity and associated fisheries crime. It benefits in turn from the submission of information that the partners collect, which can be incorporated into its global enforcement network and facilitate prosecution and deterrence.
This Ocean Conference presents an opportunity to introduce all States to this partnership and potentially expand its scope and participation.

Joe Zelasney's picture

Joe Zelasney replied:

Dear Andrew,

Thanks for sharing the views and the work of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The partnerships you have highlighted sound as if they are delivering tangible results in achieving target 14.4.  It would be interesting to learn more about the challenges and successes of these initiatives and to hear some examples regarding how they are accomplishing successful fisheries enforcement actions in an effort to combat IUU fishing.  I agree with you that the Ocean Conference is an opportunity to introduce States to these partnerships, and potentially expand its scope and participation.

The Pew Charitable Trusts (Andrew Friedman)'s picture

The Pew Charita... said:

2. What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.4?

The Ocean Conference’s Call to Action is a chance for States to take action and make a renewed commitment to managing fisheries in accordance with modern, precautionary, and science-based methods. Particularly it should include a call to adopt harvest strategies that incorporate precautionary reference points, and improving the verifiability of catches through increasing observation of fishing operations by humans or electronic tools and tighter oversight on the transshipment of fish at sea.

In addition, the Call to Action should specifically encourage widespread ratification and implementation of the PSMA and welcome its entry into force.

Joe Zelasney's picture

Joe Zelasney replied:

Dear Andrew,

Thanks for sharing the views and the work of The Pew Charitable Trusts. 

Your recommendations that States take action and commit to managing fisheries in accordance with modern, precautionary, and science-based methods, as well as encourage the widespread ratification and implementation of PSMA, are clear and ambitious.  I believe that both of these actions would support achievement of SDG 14.4 and look forward to hearing the thoughts of others on these topics.      

The Pew Charitable Trusts (Andrew Friedman)'s picture

The Pew Charita... said:

Thanks again Joe, all useful questions to be asking. We at Pew will try to take them in turn:

1. What are the challenges faced in your community, country, or region, or from the perspective of your organization, in achieving Target 14.4?

First, modernizing fisheries management. Successive reports on the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture by UNFAO indicate that many of the world’s fish stocks continue to deteriorate because of ineffective fisheries management. At a meeting convened in 2016 to review the implementation of the Fish Stocks Agreement, States committed once more to fully implement conservation and management measures for straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks in accordance with the best-available scientific information and the precautionary and ecosystem approaches.
To be effective, these management measures must incorporate modern tools for fisheries management. Harvest strategies can help to achieve Target 14.4 by putting in place pre-agreed frameworks for making fisheries management decisions, such as how and when to set science-based total allowable catch limits or quotas to sustainably manage stocks before a crisis occurs, and agree on recovery measures for depleted stocks (see http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/collections/2016/08/ha...).
Harvest strategies incorporate the use of reference points, which the Fish Stocks Agreement calls on regional management organizations to establish. Conservation, or limit, reference points should be established to “constrain harvesting within safe biological limits within which stocks can produce maximum sustainable yield” while management, or target, reference points “are intended to meet management objectives.”
Harvest strategies are more than just best practices; they are legal obligations on States pursuant to the terms of the Fish Stocks Agreement. Yet RFMOs continue to set catch limits with insufficient precaution and allow fishing of stocks to dangerously low levels. To date, no regional fisheries management body has adopted harvest strategies for more than 25 percent of a region’s stocks.
Further progress on this target will come from improving the data submitted to scientists and verifying that catches are legal and within the rules set by regional management organizations. Greater oversight of at-sea transshipment, particularly within the longline industry, is required to ensure it is properly monitored and controlled. In addition, too many vessels fishing for highly migratory species such as tunas lack systems to ensure the sufficient and timely submission of data. Tuna longline vessels, in particular, fall short of providing data that is regularly provided by vessels that use other fishing gears. Electronic systems, including cameras, are practical and should be installed on these vessels to report and monitor catches for scientific and compliance purposes.

Second, ending illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing continues to threaten marine biodiversity and fish stock sustainability. It robs coastal and developing States of billions of dollars’ worth of fish every year and is linked to such crimes as money laundering, fraud, human and drug trafficking, and corruption. Fortunately, common-sense measures and effective coordination can address this challenge. For instance:
• Last year, some States took a major step forward in combatting IUU fishing with the entry into force of the Port State Measures Agreement. As of this writing, 42 countries have ratified the agreement, but more must follow to ensure that vessels fishing illegally are denied the opportunity to land their catch and profit from their illegal activity. Moreover, it is critical that this Agreement be effectively implemented at the national level, both by the parties to the Agreement as well as those looking to join the treaty, and that the Agreement’s information-sharing mechanism is set up as soon as possible.
• The European Union, ten regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs), and two other regional fisheries bodies have adopted requirements that fishing vessels of a certain size should have unique, permanent, globally verifiable identification numbers, assigned by IHS Maritime and Trade on behalf of the IMO. These numbers provide an independent and continually updated audit trail. The challenge now is to ensure that these requirements are effectively enforced and extended to all eligible vessels fishing beyond their national jurisdiction.
• Properly implemented and maintained vessel monitoring systems (VMS) are also necessary for effective fisheries management because they allow for monitoring of vessel activity and position. These systems can alert authorities to potential illegal activity and deter wrongdoing. They can also provide flag States with vital information about their compliance with international obligations. Strong VMS must become a universal requirement of fisheries management, ensuring that information is shared among all concerned states, centralized by RFMOs where possible, and effectively monitored by national authorities.

Joe Zelasney's picture

Joe Zelasney replied:

Dear Andrew,

Thanks for sharing the views and the work of The Pew Charitable Trusts. 

You raise important points in relation to the challenges of modernizing fisheries management and combatting IUU fishing.  Establishing harvest strategies and limit reference points for stocks is an important responsibility where progress can be made toward achieving SDG 14.4.  Effective measures for monitoring and control of fishing activity that you’ve mentioned, along with coordination and cooperation at the national, regional, and global level are key to addressing the challenges of IUU fishing. 

Joe Zelasney's picture

Joe Zelasney said:

Welcome to the online forum on Partnership Dialogue 4, “Making Fisheries Sustainable,” in advance of the SDG-14 Ocean Conference that will take place in June of this year. We are very pleased to be moderating this discussion and look forward to hearing from you - governments, UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, NGOs, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, private sector, philanthropic organizations and other actors.

In particular, we’re interested in receiving contributions on how the global community can achieve Target 14.4: effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible. 

To help guide and structure the conversation we’ve proposed the following three questions:

  1. What are the challenges faced in your community, country, or region, or from the perspective of your organization, in achieving Target 14.4?
  2. What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in a global 'Call to Action' for achieving Target 14.4?
  3. Please share any innovative partnerships - existing or proposed - that you are aware of or involved in that can advance effective actions from local to global levels aimed at achieving Target 14.4?

This forum will remain open until 7 April. Summaries of the responses will be compiled at the end of the discussion period and posted on the platform. 



Your voice matters!  Make it count as the global community converges in June 2017 to commit to action to realize Sustainable Development Goal 14 to sustain Life Below Water for our and future generations!

Fisheries Discussion Question 2

Target 14.6: By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are the challenges faced in your community, country, or region, or from the perspective or your organization, in achieving Target 14.6?
  2. What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.6?
  3. Please share below any innovative partnerships aimed at achieving Targets 14.6 - existing or proposed - that you are aware of or involved in that can be highlighted at the June Ocean Conference and can advance effective actions from local to global levels.
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Michael Batty's picture

Michael Batty said:

This submission is made by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries, and is based on advice that we we have been providing to six Pacific Island members of WTO with respect to their interests in the regional tuna fishery.
1. What are the challenges faced in your community, country, or region, or from the perspective or your organization, in achieving Target 14.6?

Small island developing states have a clear interest in seeing fisheries subsidies disciplined and we believe this ‘low ambition’ target is fully achievable. We acknowledge the huge waste of resources globally in subsidising fishing on stocks which would otherwise be left to recover (the ‘sunken billions’), and we cannot compete with the big subsidisers in terms of financial resources. The southern longline fishery in our region has already seen domestic vessels driven out of business by subsidised competition. However, the definition of subsidies is broad, and we are wary of two things in seeking to achieve this target:
(i) There is a need to preserve policy space to support the development of a domestic industry in a region that suffers many inherent economic disadvantages. While this would not target overfished stocks, the fisheries are multi-species and we are cautious of language which would prohibit subsidies for any fishery which impacts on by-catch species which may be subject to overfishing;
(ii) While supporting improved transparency, as countries with small administrations and limited resources, we are opposed to reporting mechanisms that will impose a large administrative burden on countries that only provide very small subsidies.

2. What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.6?

Agreement in the WTO Ministerial meeting in December this year.

3. Please share below any innovative partnerships aimed at achieving Targets 14.6 - existing or proposed - that you are aware of or involved in that can be highlighted at the June Ocean Conference and can advance effective actions from local to global levels.

Pacific Island countries have been broadly supportive of the proposals advanced by the ACP group and the LDC group in WTO; but have also engaged with New Zealand of the ‘Friends of Fish’ (and a fellow FFA member). There is a convergence of support for action on this issue – with only a few large subsidisers still opposing measures that would go some way towards achieving the SDG target. Hopefully a compromise can be reached.

Garima Prakash's picture

Garima Prakash said:

I think it will be important for negotiators to define a 'subsidy'. Prohibiting or restricting only 'specific subsidies' [as per the concept of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures in the WTO] may not achieve the target. Even non-specific subsidies that contribute to overfishing, overcapacity, IUU fishing are responsible for the unsustainability of fisheries.

Another approach may be to introduce these prohibitions/restrictions in stages. So for the first leg of implementation, only specific subsidies are considered, followed by all subsidies contributing to overfishing, overcapacity, IUU fishing.

Roger Martini's picture

Roger Martini replied:

Hi Garima,

Your point on specificity is a good one. As you note, the WTO discussions concern specific subsidies, and even there the scope of the intended diciplines are unclear. OECD data (oe.cd/FSE) show that once you strip out important policies that are commonly considered non-specific, such as fuel tax policies, and those that are considered generally benign, such as management and infrastructure, there are less than USD 1 billion in subsidies potentially impacted by the SDG 14.6 goal. That is much less than the USD 35 billion number that is frequently cited (Sumaila 2016 in Marine Policy) and probably not enough to secure a meaningful improvement in outcomes in fish stocks, fishing capacity and overfishing. 

That means countries will have to face up to the possibility that SDG 14.6 as currently understood may not be effective at achieving its objectives and that more has to be done by looking at which policies most strongly effect fisheries and not only those considered to be "fisheries policies". 

Roger Martini's picture

Roger Martini said:

Hi Joe,Thanks for kicking off the discussion. I may not answer your questions directly but I want to start with a point around which I have observed a bit of confusion. SDG 14.6 calls for, among other things, a prohibition of certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing. This need not imply that countries have to eliminate support to their sectors, or even reduce it significantly. That kind of reform can be politically difficult to achieve.There are lots of reasons to believe that support can be delivered to the fishing sector in ways that have much lower negative impacts on overcapacity and overfishing, while at the same time achieving their objectives more effectively and efficiently. In the long term, improved policy efficiency will deliver savings to governments, but in the meantime governments need not see 14.6 as reducing their ability to set and meet objectives for their fisheries and to offer support to fishers.The OECD is working on identifying in a rigorous way how different forms of support affect overcapacity and overfishing, and how they benefit fishers as well. We will be sharing the results of this research over the course of 2017 and 2018, along with advice as to how governments can create pathways to beneficial reforms of their fishing sectors.Cheers,Roger

Joe Zelasney's picture

Joe Zelasney said:

Welcome to the online forum on Partnership Dialogue 4, “Making Fisheries Sustainable,” in advance of the SDG-14 Ocean Conference that will take place in June of this year. We are very pleased to be moderating this discussion and look forward to hearing from you - governments, UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, NGOs, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, private sector, philanthropic organizations and other actors.

In particular, we’re interested in receiving contributions on how the global community can achieve Target 14.6: prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation.

To help guide and structure the conversation we’ve proposed the following three questions:

  1. What are the challenges faced in your community, country, or region, or from the perspective of your organization, in achieving Target 14.6?
  2. What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in a global 'Call to Action' for achieving Target 14.6?
  3. Please share any innovative partnerships - existing or proposed - that you are aware of or involved in that can advance effective actions from local to global levels aimed at achieving Target 14.6?

This forum will remain open until 7 April. Summaries of the responses will be compiled at the end of the discussion period and posted on the platform. 



Your voice matters!  Make it count as the global community converges in June 2017 to commit to action to realize Sustainable Development Goal 14 to sustain Life Below Water for our and future generations!

Fisheries Discussion Question 3

Target 14.b: Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are the challenges faced in your community, country or region, or from the perspective or your organization, in achieving Target 14.b?
  2. What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.b?
  3. Please share below any innovative partnerships aimed at achieving Targets 14.b - existing or proposed - that you are aware of or involved in that can be highlighted at the June Ocean Conference and can advance effective actions from local to global levels.
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Joe Zelasney's picture

Joe Zelasney said:

Steve Rocliffe said:

What are the challenges faced in your community, country or region, or from the perspective or your organization, in achieving Target 14.b?

  • Remoteness - locations where infrastructure doesn’t exist is poor 
  • Regulation of markets - unmonitored and unregulated markets, in which artisanal fishers are often vulnerable to inequitous price controls by powerful market actors 
  • Introduction of markets for key targets that provide important food stuffs could undermine local food security 
  • In-migration - in areas where there are few alternatives improved access to resources and markets could drive/support in migration 
  • Sustainability of markets 
  • Data deficiency - poorly/unmanaged fisheries and markets
  • Low levels of education/literacy (and lack of collective bargaining power/ awareness of rights/ poverty) in fishing communities resulting in exploitation (low $ to fishers and unsafe working conditions e.g. diving for sea cucumbers
  • Unstable government/ corruption? (maybe this goes into regulation of markets above)
  • Pre-existing inequalities give rise to elite capture of benefits as new markets introduced 

What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.b?

  • Building greater capacity for local/co-management
  • Improve regulation of current markets and advocate for fair pricing schemes and decent working conditions
  • Recognition and protection of secure rights for artisanal fishers to inshore zone 
  • Build awareness of rights/ capacity to negotiate at local level
Joe Zelasney's picture

Joe Zelasney said:

Please find the following comment, posted on behalf of: 

Dr. B. B. Solarin,

Former Director (Fisheries Resources),

c/o Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research

With reference to the Virtual dialogue on Making  Fisheries Sustainable, I wish to summarize my submission (in no particular order) as follows :

Ø  Reduction in the high rate of IUU fishing and other related issues.

Ø  Security issues including Armed sea robbery and sea piracy

Ø  Adequate safety measures and enforcement capabilities.

Ø  Issues on Environmental pollution or contamination.

Ø  Issues on migration of fishermen along the West Africa corridor.

Ø  Insurance schemes funding and administration.

Ø  Soft loan/Credit facilities with no or low interest rate.

Ø  Elimination or reduction in the conflicts between trawler fishermen and small scale fishers in inshore coastal waters (statutorily reserved for artisanal fisheries).

Ø  Limit beach seining and prohibit pair trawling and purse seining in the near shore coasal waters.

Ø  Gender issues and other related consideratons e.g. mainstreaming trans-boundary trades and health issues such as HIV/AIDs.

Ø  Issue of Child labour and education of school age children fishing communities.

Ø  Provision of amenities and facilities that will reduce the drudgery in value addition processes and marketing.

Ø  Establishment of Vessel Monitoring Sysyems (VMS) and regional collaboration on monitoring.

Ø  Bycatch issue especially in relation to shrimp trawling.

Ø  Conservation of endangered species including marine mammals, sea turtles and sea birds.

Ø  Involvement of small scale fishermen or fishing communities in negotiation of/review of international fishing agreements as well as agreements on trades in fish and fishery products.

Andrew Song's picture

Andrew Song said:

Thank you all for making this e-discussion possible in preparation of the Ocean Conference. I apologize that I will not be able to directly answer the three important questions posed. Here, I just want to raise a small observation regarding this Target in relation to other fishing-related SDG 14 Targets (i.e. 14.4 and 14.6). I am in agreement with the moderators and the many contributors in this e-forum that this Target 14.b must be enabled and given stronger political consideration, but cannot help seeing a potential contradiction between the other two Targets and 14.b. My concern is largely informed by the existence of the more biology/economics-oriented marine conservation theme which reflects the growing reports of how the expanding market access of small-scale fishers is a significant factor driving resource overexploitation, both locally (e.g. reef fish being depleted) and globally (e.g. species such as sea cucumber or aquarium fish being shipped to Asian markets in a serially depleting manner). While this simple relationship is never really that simple in reality, I sense that there is some truth to this. So perhaps being cautious about this unintended possibility (which I am sure is not new to the moderators and other contributors) would be a prudent step in taking 14.b to the next level!

Jonathan Peacey's picture

Jonathan Peacey said:

Thank you to the organizers for the opportunity to share some thoughts on Target 14.b – based on our work in the Western and Central Pacific. 

  1. What are the challenges faced in your community, country or region, or from the perspective or your organization, in achieving Target 14.b?

Pacific Island countries are facing a food security crisis. Traditionally, coral reef fisheries have been a cornerstone of food security, supplying 50 to 90% of daily protein needs in the Pacific (the global average is ~20%). This high dependency on fish is being eroded by population growth, urbanization, overfishing of reef fisheries, habitat degradation, and increased consumption of cheap, low-quality food.

One option to help address this problem is to increase access by local communities to the large, productive tuna fisheries in the region. If such access to tuna can be improved, it is estimated that by 2035 tuna will need to meet 25% of the fish required by Pacific Island countries for food security.

A challenge for many small coastal communities is that they do not have boats large enough to chase after fast-moving tuna schools offshore. To address this problem, Conservation International and partners are supporting national fisheries agencies to develop sustainable programs to install and maintain nearshore anchored fish aggregating devices (FADs). The FADs make it easier for fishers to catch tuna from small fishing craft. The FAD programs include training in construction and installation of FADs, monitoring of catches, and safe FAD-fishing practices.

Increasing access to tuna for local food security is also an essential adaptation to climate change. Over time, harvests of fish from even the best managed coastal fisheries in Pacific Small Island Developing States are expected to decline due to the degrading effects of increased sea surface temperature and ocean acidification on coral reefs. Providing communities with the option to catch tuna around FADs, together with maintenance of community-based marine managed areas to optimise the catch of reef fish, will be essential for maintaining fish supply and leveraging significant environmental adaptation benefits.

  1. What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.b?

It is a challenge for fisheries management agencies at all levels to balance the different potential benefits from tuna fisheries (including government income, employment, local economic stability, and local food security). An important action is for agencies to fully recognize the importance of fisheries for food security (including for helping reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases). Management measures required to help ensure tuna are available to local communities might include maintaining tuna stocks at sufficiently high levels so tuna are accessible to local communities and not just to efficient industrial fishing operations. It may also require restricting industrial fishing vessels to operating further offshore. 

Another way of increasing access to tuna – especially in urban areas – would be to require industrial tuna fishing companies to supply a small portion of their catch to local markets. Already some small and damaged tuna from industrial fishing vessels are sold in local markets in ports where transhipments occur but there is scope to expand the provision of tuna to urban centres. To keep things in perspective, the estimated 87,500 tonnes of tuna per year required to meet food security requirements across 22 Pacific Island countries by 2035 is only about 6% of the total tuna catch in the region.

Innovative partnerships aimed at achieving Targets 14.b

Conservation International, in partnership with the Asia Development Bank, WorldFish, and the Pacific Community (SPC), is supporting Pacific Islands national fisheries agencies to develop sustainable programs to install and maintain nearshore anchored fish aggregating devices (FADs) and help local communities in safe FAD fishing practices. 

Jonathan Peacey

Conservation International

RAHERIMIAMINA's picture

RAHERIMIAMINA said:

1-

L’accès aux marchés pour les pêcheurs artisans reste un défi énorme car dans notre pays comme pour d’autres pays aussi, car ils doivent passer ou solliciter d’autres pour pouvoir accéder à ces marchés compte tenu de leur faiblesse éducative et financières, et des exigences en matière de normes ou standard qui nécessitent beaucoup en termes d’investissements financiers et de formations De ce fait, la plus value essentielle restera aux mains des détenteurs d’argent

2-

  • A notre niveau, nous préconisons le renforcement des accords bi-latéraux en premier lieu, entre les acteurs principaux avec des engagements précis de chaque partie. C’est un pas nécessaire si on veut rehausser vraiment la vie des pêcheurs artisans, si on veut qu’ils soient les vrais responsables de la durabilité de la pêche.

3-

  • Dans le bassin de l’Océan Indien, je pense que nous la population indianocénique, nous consommons les mêmes poissons, mais des conditions d’ordre économique ou autres entraînent que la population d’un des pays ne peut manger des poissons venant d’un pays riverain ou bien ils peuvent mais à des prix exorbitants. Il n’est pas normal que la population de l’un des pays soit privée de manger les poissons d’un autre pays riverain pour des raisons de coûts ou de normes, alors que d’autres pays venant de loin disposant soi-disant des moyens peuvent le faire. Pour pallier à cette injustice, je propose que chaque partie pourrait faire des échanges commerciaux (exemple financier et humains) propres, avec des engagements de bonne foi. Ces échanges seront bénéfiques pour les parties prenantes surtout les petits pêcheurs pour qu’ils puissent vraiment bénéficier des fruits de leur travail, tout en partageant une richesse commune que sont les produits de la mer.
Nicole Franz's picture

Nicole Franz replied:

Merci pour partager la visione indianocéanique Raherimiamina. Il semble que la reconnaissance du valeur de la peche artisanale en terms de securité alimentaire n'est pas encore assez forte. Egalement, les imbalances de pouvoir entre les acteurs certainement contribuent à rendre la situation plus difficile pour les pecheurs artisans. Je me demande si des campagnes ciblant les consommateurs peuvent jouer un role, pour rendre plus visible la situation? Et quel est le role des organisations des pecheurs artisans - est-qu'il y a une exemple dans la region pour montrer comme des alliances des acteurs peuvent contribuer a equilibrer la situation?

RAHERIMIAMINA's picture

RAHERIMIAMINA replied:

Bonjour Nicole,

Oui actuellement les artisans pêcheurs de l'Océan Indien sont réunis autour d'une plateforme régionale dénommée FPAOI(Fédération des Pêcheurs Artisans de l'Océan Indien) regroupant Madagascar, Seychelles, Maurice, Comores et l'Ile de la Réunion. La FPAOI a vu le jour au mois d'octobre 2015, elle a pour objectifs:

-de défendre les intérêts et représenter les pêcheurs artisans de l’océan Indien auprès des instances nationales, internationales, gouvernementales ou non gouvernementales ;

- de veiller à une participation accrue des pêcheurs artisans de l’océan Indien à l’exploitation et à la gestion des ressources halieutiques, y compris les ressources migratrices, qui les concernent ;

- de garantir aux pêcheurs artisans de l’océan Indien des retombées économiques de l’exploitation des ressources marines et continentales ;

- d’agir en faveur du maintien et du développement d’une pêche artisanale durable en océan Indien ;

- de renforcer les capacités des organisations nationales membres.

Grâce à la coopération Régionale, notamment la COI , le FPAOI a actuellement le soutien de plusieurs entités comme la CTA et la Banque Mondiale, et elle sera présente à partir de cette année à la session de la CTOI(Commission Thonière de l'Océan Indien) en tant qu'observateur.

Nicole Franz's picture

Nicole Franz replied:

Excellente nouvelles! Il s'agit d'un example concrete de partenariat des acteurs de la peche artisanale. Et il est tres important que cette organisation participe dans les debats au niveau regionale, notamment dans le context CTOI.

Ivan Martinez-Tovar's picture

Ivan Martinez-Tovar said:

Small-scale communities face great problems when their fish resources are not the "high-value" resources that have a lot of attention. Examples of this can be seen all over the world, while fishers in one community fish lobsters or shrimp under strong regulation, enforcement, and incentives. Other fishers in the same community, targeting locally important resources will face almost no regulation, and market leverage to improve. This normally ends in overexploitation of these resources.

Right assignation, empowerment, and diversification of income activities are some of the opportunities that these fishers can look at. Even when market leverage is lacking, right incentives will increase fishers interest to participate actively in management efforts. Alliances between managers, communities, NGOs, and, others have proved to be effective in this kind of situations. 

Nicole Franz's picture

Nicole Franz replied:

Dear Ivan,

thank you for your comment. It is important to recognize how diverse small-scale fisheries can be, even if located in the same area.

Markets can certainly provide positive incentives as you point out. On the other hand we also have to consider that strong market demand can pose a risk if no stron and efficient fisheries governance system is in place to ensure the sustainable use of the resource.

You refer to alliances between different partners as effective tools for sustainable fisheries also for lower-value species. It would be great to hear from you or others of concrete examples where these alliances have been established and are producing positive results for all!

Hunter Snyder's picture

Hunter Snyder said:

I would like to share some Arctic perspectives concerning Target 14.b. 

  1. What are the challenges faced in your community, country or region, or from the perspective or your organization, in achieving Target 14.b?

The Arctic region is, like other developing areas, are challenged by priveleged market access. In Greenland, small-scale fishers access a limited market through large-scale buyers. Part-government-owned large-scale fish buyers and a government-owned shipping company constrict the supply chain of seafood. A national ban on competition within the shipping sector ensures that all settlements are served throughout the year, and fortifies the control that the shipping company and part-government-owned large-scale fish buyer has over small-scale fishers and fish workers. to address the challenge that Greenland faces in providing increased access to markets would be to increase free trade, invest in more infrastructure, and to dissolve of shipping monopolies, with the caveat that subsidies be provided to shippers to serve remote settlements. Infrastructure limitations in developing areas such as the circumpolar Arctic limit market access, stifle supply chain innovation, and deprive Arctic fishers and world markets of the value of Arctic seafood. Permitting an open shipping market has trade offs, risking guaranteed service to hard-to-reach Arctic regions in exchange for lower shipping costs, and in turn, more competitively priced seafood. 

  1. What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.b?

One of the most important priorities that can be executed for the benefit of the circumpolar Arctic is to maintain a balance of equitable access to marine resources, especially among indigenous peoples of the North, while continuing to augment market access through infrastructure. Doing so could allow small-scale fishers, buyers and their local economies to reap the benefits of global trade. Policy design that considers a thoughtful approach to the history of access to marine resources among people in the North and a recognition of the need to improve shipping would work to achieve Target 14.b at the top of the world. 

Hunter Snyder

Fulbright Fellow, Greenland 

Consulting Author, UN FAO Fishery and Aquaculture Profile for Greenland

PhD Student, Ecology, Evolution, Ecosystems, and Society, Dartmouth College USA

Ratana Chuenpagdee's picture

Ratana Chuenpagdee replied:

Dear Hunter,

Many thanks for bringing up issues about market access in Greenland small-scale fisheries. The remoteness of the place indeed calls for different thinking about how to provide infrastructure and set up market institutions that work best in such context. Then a follow-up question will be how to convince the government to make necessary investment.

Your suggestion on priority actions is an interesting one. Equitable access to market is certainly critical for SSF sustainability. I'm intrigued by your point about historical access. I wonder how this will work in a changing ocean we're facing today. I suppose shipping of goods should be easier to do now than before.

Ratana Chuenpagdee's picture

Ratana Chuenpagdee said:

What a way to start Week 2 of the discussion about SDG 14.b!

General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) - you are certainly doing something very important with the establishment of a permanent Working Group on SSF to coordinate SSF activities, both technical and institutional, in the region. Thanks for sharing your experience. Perhaps you can tell us a bit more about the composition of the Working Group, how it functions and who funds its activities. That way other people can also see if this can also be done in their regions.

We're still looking for more examples of initiatives, especially innovative partnerships, that should be highlighted and promoted at the June conference. If you know of any mechanisms/projects (local or regional) that support SSF to become organized or to engage in partnership with other actors to secure access to resources, to get better prices for their catches, and to gain better market shares, please let us know. The more evidence we have, the better we can leverage for more support of SSF in the implementation of the SDG14.

General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean's picture

General Fisheri... replied:

Hi Ratana! Thanks for your comment. As the GFCM working group on SSF is newly established, and its first meeting will be held later this year, we are still working out some of its details. With that said, as is the case for all GFCM working groups, we aim for full representation of all Mediterranean and Black Sea riparian countries at the meeting. We also aim for participation to include a mix of relevant policy makers, experts, and representatives of SSF organizations. We would, of course, be interested in hearing from others about any experience that they may have in bringing together these different stakeholders in a productive forum. As for funding, the GFCM, as an international organization in the framework of the FAO, has it's own budget which supports these activities.

Ratana Chuenpagdee's picture

Ratana Chuenpagdee replied:

Hi GFCM,

I guess one thing that you have that others don't is funding to support partnership, engagement activities and capacity development, all of which are necessary to secure access to resources and to improve access to markets. Getting the right people at the table, i.e. people with legitimacy, and having a good process to facilitate discussion are certainly key ingredients. Good luck!

General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean's picture

General Fisheri... said:

First of all, we’d like to extend a huge thanks to the forum moderators for this excellent initiative to bring us together and share our experiences and ideas. On behalf of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), the RFMO of the Mediterranean and Black Sea, we would like to share with you some of the challenges for small-scale fisheries in our region and some of the initiatives underway within our organization to address these challenges and, in particular, SDG Target 14.B.

In the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, SSF make up the predominant fishing sector, accounting for 80 percent of the region’s fishing fleet and 60 percent of all on-vessel fishing labour. Although we know this sector is crucial, data limitations in measuring the precise extent and impact of SSF activity mean that it is often undervalued and therefore it risks marginalization in the decision-making process. Recognizing its importance, our members have been calling for stronger actions to address these challenges in order to support SSF and ensure the sustainability of livelihoods from this sector.

In response to this call, the GFCM has organized two major regional conferences to build knowledge on SSF activities, assess priorities, and steer strategic actions to support the sector:

Furthermore, in 2016, the GFCM adopted the “Mid-term strategy (2017-2020) towards the sustainability of Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries”. This strategy seeks to meet international commitments, including those set forth in SDG 14, through the development of tailor-made actions that take into account the specific needs of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Indeed, through this strategy, the GFCM is the first RFMO to present a strategic initiative to specifically address the SDGs.

Of the strategy’s five targets, target 2 focuses on SSF. This target sets out a plan of action to meet the obligations of SDG target 14.B, while also seeking to implement the SSF Guidelines and address the region’s specific challenges by putting into action the conclusions of the regional conference on SSF.

In particular, target 2 of the strategy includes knowledge building activities, such as the completion of a regional survey, and activities to integrate SSF into the decision-making process, such as the establishment of a regional platform to engage SSF organizations and promote regional dialogue. Through these activities, we hope to gain a better idea of the role of SSF in our region and also build a mechanism for meaningful collaboration between fishers and decision-makers.

Also included within the mid-term strategy, and adopted by the GFCM at its session in 2016, is the establishment of a permanent Working Group on SSF to coordinate SSF activities, both technical and institutional, in the region. This working group will therefore serve as the mechanism to monitor the implementation of SDG target 14.B and the SSF Guidelines in the region, while also addressing ad hoc needs of the region.

Jose Pascual-Fernandez's picture

Jose Pascual-Fe... said:

Thanks to the forum moderators for helping this forum to happen.
Small-scale fishers (SSF) in the Canary Islands, Spain and other areas of Europe are facing a diversity of problems for accessing the marine resources and markets, although those difficulties are not the same everywhere. In relation to resources, we can state how, in some cases, resources are transferred from small-scale fishers in favour of large scale ones. A case in point is how the fishery of red tuna in Spain is almost under control, in-fact, of two large companies based in the Mediterranean. At the same time, hundreds of small boats share a minor percentage of the catches, as happens in the Canary Islands. This is related to how the State is governing about access rights, and small-scale fishers need to be taken more into account in these decision-making processes. Similar issues happen in some northern countries where the ITQs or similar arrangements have forced too many small-scale fishers out of business in the last decades, one way or another. In this arena, an adequate implementation of SSF voluntary guidelines may help to preserve access rights for small-scale fishers and to achieve SDG14b.
Not all risks come from large-scale fisheries. Coastal or marine tourism development may impact strongly on fishing communities. Similar problems may be related to recreational fisheries, which have been increasing lately, both in numbers and catches in some areas like the Canary Islands. Climate change is also affecting many coastal areas, and some coastal zones of the Canary Islands are suffering from this challenge.
However, not all the scenarios are dark, and we can also find cases where fishers have developed successful strategies to take control of their resources, getting the support of the state for this purpose. For instance, small-scale fishers in some islands as Fuerteventura have requested gear restrictions to make fishery sustainable, and governments have supported the idea with regulations to implement the restrictions. In other cases, marine reserves of fishing interest (like the one in El Hierro, Canary Islands) have been created with the impulse of local fishers, with a design that favours sustainable fishery in the area and strong support from the state. This reserve has not only increased the catches in the area but also secured the generation of synergies with other marine activities, like scuba diving.
In this sense, securing access is a key element, and providing better access to markets is no less important. Too frequently, local small-scale catches are undifferentiated in the market vs the catches of large-scale fleets or aquaculture, which is misleading for consumers and a disaster for SSF. In this realm, we can also find many conflicts and some success cases, as happens in Conil (Andalusia, Spain), where they have been effective in developing a collective labelling strategy that is widely recognised in the region, providing more secure access to markets and better prices for SSF fishers.
All these success cases have something in common: strong organizations of small-scale fishers supporting the processes. In this sense, perhaps one of the main challenges for small-scale fishers is how to develop organizations capable of coping with the current and diverse challenges they face. It is not an easy task, and frequently too dependent on specific leaderships. Supporting the development of organizations and leaderships is one of the pending tasks. Governments may contribute to this endeavour, as happened with the Galician shellfisher women on-foot in the 1990s, when shell-fisher organizations were created with the help of the regional government. Since that moment on, these shellfisher women have developed a successful management system in collaboration with biologist and the regional government. Other actors may help, and we can find how NGOs or scientists are contributing to this task in some cases. Some partnerships have been developed and many more would be welcomed.
Traditionally, small-scale fishers have had some limitations in scaling-up their organizations. That had been the case in Europe for long time. However, since a few years ago organizations such as Low Impact Fishers of Europe (LIFE) have demonstrated that, with adequate support and management, fishers’ voices can be heard in many countries around Europe, and also in Brussels at the level of the European Union. Perhaps this is one of the most interesting partnerships in European small-scale fisheries.

Ratana Chuenpagdee's picture

Ratana Chuenpagdee replied:

Dear Jose,

Thank you for sharing with us your experience from Canary Islands and other parts of Spain. Your stories reiterate the point that issues and challenges facing SSF are not unique to the Global South. It is also very nice to hear positive examples of how small-scale fishers overcome challenges by becoming organized. The story about the women shellfish gatherers is likely to resonate with many other cases where women play critical role in various aspects of the fish chain (from pre-harvest, harvest to post-harvest). The importance of SSF organizations is well recognized in the SSF Guidelines and it is imperative that governments take actions to support these organizations and to provide enabling conditions for them to succeed. 

Perhaps the follow-up question is what needs to be done to get the governments to do the right thing!

Vivienne Solis Rivera's picture

Vivienne Solis ... said:

The implementation of the SSF voluntary guidelines approved in the COFI meeting in 2014 are certainly a huge challenge worldwide. The implementation of this instrument with the leadership of the fishing organizations and other supporters is crucial and urgent. Sharing and learning in how the implementation of this instrument is happening around the world is crucial for the effective action towards this target.

Nicole Franz's picture

Nicole Franz replied:

Dear Vivienne,

thank you for sharing your thoughts. I certainly agree that the implementation of the SSF Guidelines is a huge challenge - but you also rightly point out that it can be an important tool for all to work towards achieving SDG14b, in particular considering that these guidelines have been negotiated and endorsed by the members of COFI. Already a lot is happening around the world, so it would in fact be important to gather and share those lessons for the benefit of small-scale fisheries all over the world.

Vivienne Solis Rivera's picture

Vivienne Solis ... replied:

Dear Nicole: I certainly believe that the SDG 14 is a great opportunity to advance towards oceans sustainable use, even though I believe that we should make sure they do not omit " the rights of small scale fishers to access". We need to make sure that the zero draft and the other documents coming out of these meeting in June are able to bring in the idea of a needed support for small-scale fishing communities to participate in and take responsibility for, integrated management of small scale fisheries, based on the recognition and protection of access rights to these communities. If these does not happen, I am afraid that the SDG 14 will be only a good intention document. SDG 14 b clearly indicates this issue as an indicator but for me this is much clearer in the guidelines where fishers themselves where able to state the importance for recognition of these rights. We need to bring the terminology and practical experience to the SDG 14 process now. The table is set.

Sarah Poon's picture

Sarah Poon said:

Small-scale fisheries are an essential source of food, income and employment for many communities around the world. In the face of a growing global population and unprecedented threats to ocean ecosystems, sustainable fisheries management is critical. Yet many small-scale fisheries are poorly managed, or not managed at all. And many remain open access, which leaves communities’ fishing grounds open to overexploitation by local and/or non-local actors. Overexploitation of fisheries threatens the livelihoods of millions of the most marginalized people around the world.

To protect small-scale fishers’ access to marine resources, we must empower them to secure rights to their fisheries and to participate in decision making to drive sustainable management. States can promote sustainable small-scale fisheries by working with fishers and other stakeholders to define and allocate fishing rights in an appropriate way, based on the goals and interests of fishers and their communities, in accordance with the SSF Guidelines, and drawing from global lessons learned from experiences with rights-based fisheries management.

 As the SSF Guidelines emphasize, participatory processes must be established and/or strengthened to ensure stakeholders can co-create management systems that will work in the local context to promote the long-term sustainability of the fishery.

Partnerships between governments, fishing communities, CSOs, NGOs, academic institutions, and others are valuable for bringing together diverse perspectives and skills to design and implement effective fishery management systems. Such partnerships can be helpful for engaging stakeholders in participatory decision making; providing appropriate scientific tools and management advice; supporting research, monitoring and communication; strengthening capacity; and other support to ensure management systems protect small-scale fishers’ long-term access to the resources they depend on.

Ratana Chuenpagdee's picture

Ratana Chuenpagdee replied:

Dear Sarah,

Many thanks for your comments, and for emphasizing the role of government, as well as other stakeholders in co-creating management systems through a partnership process. The challenge in realizing this is still paramount, even though it sounds logical and sensible. One must wonder why?!? Some argue that it is because of power dynamics, while some suggest that it is due to the lack of mechanisms and enabling conditions. Most likely, it's a combination of both. 

Perhaps there's room for innovation! If industrial fisheries can partner with ENGOs to achieve conservation (e.g. http://www.davidsuzuki.org/media/news/2012/03/environmentalists-and-bottom-trawl-industry-develop-innovative-measures-to-impro/), 

what could be some 'strange bedfellows' for small-scale fisheries?

Sarah Poon's picture

Sarah Poon replied:

Thanks for the response Ratana. I certainly agree that there are many barriers to creating strong partnerships that can foster participatory co-management. One challenge that stands out is my mind is resistance to change (and even for those who seek change, they often confront institutional barriers to change). This is one reason why it is so important to tell stories about partnerships that have worked to generate positive outcomes—to show people that change is not only possible, but worthwhile. For example, the the Belize Fisheries Department, with support from Environmental Defense Fund and Wildlife Conservation Society, spearheaded a coalition of government, fishing communities and non-governmental organizations to create a new national fisheries management system, called Managed Access. Under this system, fishermen and women are empowered to control their own future through licenses giving them access to fish in two of eight specific geographic areas—or Territorial Use Rights for Fishing (TURFs)—of the fishery, and responsibilities to help manage the areas and observe regulations. (You can read more about Managed Access and the strong partnership that led to its adoption here). Despite the challenges of setting up such multi-stakeholder partnerships, we are seeing a lot of progress, and I am optimistic that they will become the norm for fisheries management in the future.

Nicole Franz's picture

Nicole Franz said:

Dear Sergio - and all other contributors so far,

Thanks for sharing your views! You all raise important points in relation to the the challenges that small-scale fisheries are facing.

Sergio mentions complexity in his first sentence - and this certainly a very important feature of small-scale fisheries. A better understanding of the sector is indeed crucial to ensure that needs - as well as potential - are properly understood and supported through public policies.

It would be great to hear more about 'what works', including innovative partenerships - or what type of partnerships at all levels would be needed to promote effective action in support of sustainable small-scale fisheries, in particular in relation to access to resources and to markets!

Sérgio Mattos's picture

Sérgio Mattos replied:

Dear Nicole,

Thank you for pushing us. This is the idea, so far.

In Brazil nor we can say that we know about fisheries, neither that we don't know. Huge country, many ecosystems, cultures, technologies, social gaps, and a paramount challence to join and work together. Generally speaking, public policies always described existing national request, supported by existing knowledge, but little answered to and asked for local demands. Reason why still facing problems of implementation rather than construction of public policies. Make that a public policy, even with national scope, reach the most distant fisher is a challenge worth trying.

The same could be true when talking about colaborative work, or 'what works' for small-scale fisheries in Brazil. Colaboration, and consequently co-working, is something the fall into a rethoric: everybody believes, but few applies. In todays governmental level, nobody belives, nobody applies, but still a rethoric. But everything is not a nightmare, once fishers themselves, fishers representative, NGOs, academia, researchers, and public state agents (in Brazil a government agent is a public state agent who holds a position in a governmental institution, generally within an ideological political line) are seating together, without governmental intervention, aiming at discussing real world problems in SSF and moving forward into policies that answers fishers needs, such as fishing territorial rights. Although once a public policy, now is one of their main goal. In recognising such an effective action and acknowledging that fishers must lead the process, many academic and non-academic forums worked together in creating a web to join paradigms, insights and discoveries, for the benefit of small-scale fisheries. I hope.

Sérgio Mattos's picture

Sérgio Mattos said:

The social, technological and ecological complexities found in small-scale fishing communities in Brazil still pose a challenge to integrate knowledge about the sector and hamper the enforcement of management measures, generally due to lack of data and information on these fisheries. As a result the established public policies are often disconnected with the sector’s local, regional and national dynamics. Furthermore, legitimacy and representativeness of small-scale fish workers in such institutional and legal frameworks increase challenges for the implementation of public policies and for the establishment of a management system capable of encompassing the diversity of small-scale fisheries.

Challenges always persist in social, economic and environmental dimensions of the fishing sector, as well issues as gender equity, and culture and knowledge, and although seems straightforward to face understandings of geopolitical and regional complexities and diversities, these need to be incorporated for fisheries management. So, to effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) and destructive fishing practices (Target 14.4); to prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, that contribute to IUU fishing (Target 14.6); and provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets (Target 14.b); is imperative to understand that a frail and ineffective implementation of small-scale fisheries (SSF) public policy seems to be related to a weak institutional and legal frameworks arrangement, affecting social and ecological sustainability of fishing communities in developing countries such as Brazil.

The demands from organized civil society that extol the need for democratic actions and efforts of articulation and dialogue for the construction of public policies that recognize the peculiarities and particularities of the artisanal fishing activity, and of its involved stakeholders, are not recent. The need still rests on the importance of strengthening participatory management and governance processes, and the defense of broad involvement in the discussions of all segments involved.

For economic and social cohesion, it is necessary the audacity to decentralize some responsibilities for fisheries management, enabling a flow of information necessary to provide quick and effective responses to local and urgent situations, strengthening local organizations and guaranteeing quality of life and social well-being. We are talking about a plural activity, throughout its value chain, which requires a differential look and strong actions to minimize the perverse effects of historical marginalization, to strengthen the implementation of public policies, and to minimize conflicts, since small-scale fisheries is an important part of an economic sector that needs a holistic view, for farther actions through intrinsic specificities on the existing social, cultural and technological diversity.

The moment, therefore, is to create the necessary spaces for the discussion of the regulatory framework generated by the lack of clear and transparent instruments, a global and consensual understanding for fishing regulation, as well as definition of the institutionalism that will operate and implement any public policy for the sector, since the basic principle for planning institutionalization lies in the simplification of the management instruments and the legal and institutional framework. Nor is it recognized that any political agent is able to coordinate this process. Recent practice has shown that primary economic sectors, as fishing, requires command and execution teams of "eminently technical" profile, with political reading in a worldwide context, but never a "just political" profile, as many have advocated.

The eminently political ideology that plagued the public administration, in dealing with this and other closely related segments, weakened the organizational structures, with repercussion in the elaboration and implementation of public policies and, obviously, weakening the Government and the democratic state of law.

Maria Jose Barragan-Paladines's picture

Maria Jose Barr... said:

Dear forum moderators: congratulations and thanks for this great initiative to put the voices of some actors, interested in fisheries sustainability, together!

First, I trully believe that any effort to highlight the close connection between the "below" and "above" water dimensions implicit on the 14.b target is of extreme help. In fact the disconnection of both, the terrestrial and marine realms where fisheries take place, is partly responsible for the unawareness of the large complexity that challlenges to this sector entitle. My reflections to the leading questions underneath:

1. What are the challenges faced in your community, country or region, or from the perspective or your organization, in achieving Target 14.b?

Ecuador is one of the 25 major producers of the marine fisheries captures (SOFIA 2016). At the same time, Ecuador ahs been recognized as one of the 50 countries with higher vulnerability to climate change, ocean acidification and food insecurity ( Muir 2013, Huelsenbeck OCEANA 2012).This apparent paradox shows the risk implicit in the assumption that food security can be addressed by only looking at food quantity and thus availability. I found one of the biggest challenge to achieve the SDG 14.b target to be the disconnection between fish supply for the global markets, and the fish availability/affodability and access for fishers' own consumtption. 

Additionally, the food insecurity terrestrialized notion also affects a broader and more comprehensive understanding (recongition) of fish as a potential ally in the hunger and malnutrition problem, globally.

2.     What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.b?

There are many priority actions needed at varied scales, within the access to marine resources by fishing communities:

a. The "de-terrestrialization" of the notion of food-security, that would imply the recognition of fish, small-scale fishing activities, and fishing commnities great role, in alleviating the food insecurity challenge, at both local and national scale, within a global context. Food security lenses needs to go beyond the soils, seeds, droughts, and crops concets, and look at the sea, and at the shore, as well.

b. The recognition that food security/insecurity is not only a problem of the "so-called" developing (Global South) countries. In fact issues of food insecurity and malnutrition can also be witnessed on some areas of the Global North, as well and this should also be paid attention when small-scale fishers access to marine resources and markets are addressed.

c. Different perspectives are needed to tackle the access of small-scale fishers to marine resource and markets. By paying attention to the global and national scales implicit in the markets dynamics also requires a better understanding of the household and individual role, in the access to those resources.

3. innovative partnerships.....

Concerning this question, I am still trying to systematically identify and illustrate those cases. Hopefully my research development will provide abundant evidence of such cases!

Thanks!

Ratana Chuenpagdee's picture

Ratana Chuenpagdee replied:

Dear Maria Jose,

Indeed, the disconnection between life above and below water has detrimental effects on the whole ecosystem. Small-scale fishing people are obviously very close to life below the water and we can do more to draw from their knowledge and experience in managing the fisheries.

Thank you for highlighting the vulnerability of fisheries in Ecuador. While food security goes beyond availability and accessibility to include other aspects like food quality and stability of supply, there’s tendency to look only at the first couple of dimensions. More attention on how to improve markets and market access, and incorporating what you suggested about global/national/local dynamics, will certainly be useful.

Alicia Said's picture

Alicia Said said:

Thanks for organizing this e-panel, which I believe is very important when considering that small-scale fisheries encompass millions of livelihoods around the world. I am looking forward to reading the different stories and learn about the experiences of those involved in the small-scale fishing sector all over the world such that we can collectively voice the need of securing the sustainability of small-scale fisheries. Here is a succinct story of the Maltese fishing sector and what I believe should be the priority actions to make small-scale fisheries sustainable:

The fishing sector in Malta has always been one of a small-scale nature with a long history of fishers engaging in traditional small-scale fishing practices, however, the fishing communities are slowly disappearing as a result of major shifts in the fisheries policies.  With the industrialization of the Bluefin tuna fishery and the increase in the number of industrial trawlers, the fishing fleet and fisheries resources are increasingly becoming concentrated into fewer hands, and inevitably, small-scale fishers are facing multi-faceted deprivation.  In other words, the corporate growth within the fishing sector, a process which has been supported by the national governing system, is adversely affecting the resilience of the small-scale fleet. As a result, fishers are now enduring constant struggles to retain their livelihoods, and feel incapable of changing their destiny. They have become overly fragmented and disempowered to an extent that they are unable to engage in collective action to revert their situation.  

In this regard, I would say that the biggest challenge, and potentially, the only hope for the sustainability of the small-scale fleet, is to get the fishers organized and empowered to become more involved in securing their livelihoods through transparent decision-making. This trajectory, which ought to be embedded in good governance principles, would ease the ongoing crisis of inequity, distributive injustice, and marginalization in a way that safeguards the continuation of the small-scale fishing communities. The starting point for this could be the implementation of the FAO SSF Guidelines for these provide the right guidance upon which the rejuvenation of the small-scale fisheries can take shape.

Ratana Chuenpagdee's picture

Ratana Chuenpagdee replied:

Many thanks, Alicia, for providing us a great example from Malta, with vivid details about what small-scale fisheries communities are going through. I won’t be surprised if similar things are happing in other places as well. We always hear stories about how small-scale fisheries are being displaced, due for the most part to policy and regulatory changes, which restrict their access to the resources and affect their ability to have viable livelihoods. Other factors add to the challenges, including globalized markets and environmental variability. Considering too that many small-scale fisheries are already marginalized (geographically, economically and politically), there is certainly an urgent need to do something to rectify the situation.

I agree with your suggestion about the need for small-scale fishers to be more organized and empowered to participate in decision-making. But proper mechanisms are required to enable that, taking into consideration that the particular conditions that small-scale fishing people are in. I was reminded the other day how small-scale fishers are already doing a lot, from catching the fish, to processing and selling the catches, repairing gears, etc. Won’t it be nice if the governments were to do a good job at managing the fisheries, by following the principles outlined in the SSF Guidelines, so that we don’t have to bother small-scale fishing people too much?

Ratana Chuenpagdee's picture

Ratana Chuenpagdee said:

Welcome to the online forum on Partnership Dialogue 4, "Making Fisheries Sustainable," in advance of the SDG-14 Ocean Conference that will take place in June of this year. We are very pleased to be moderating this discussion and look forward to hearing from you - governments, UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, NGOs, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, private sector, philanthropic organizations and other stakeholders.

In particular, we're interested in receiving contributions on how the global community can achieve Target 14.b: Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets.

To help guide and structure the conversation we've proposed the following three questions:

1.     What are the challenges faced in your community, country or region, or from the perspective or your organization, in achieving Target 14.b?

2.     What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.b?

3.     Please share below any innovative partnerships aimed at achieving Targets 14.b - existing or proposed - that you are aware of or involved in that can be highlighted at the June Ocean Conference and can advance effective actions from local to global levels.

This forum will remain open until 7 April. Summaries of the responses will be compiled at the end of the discussion period and posted on the platform.

Your voice matters!  Make it count as the global community converges in June 2017 to commit to action to realize Sustainable Development Goal 14 to sustain Life Below Water for us and our future generations!

But of course, Target 14.b is very much about "Life Above Water." So let's discuss what we need to do to sustain both!