Welcome to FIS   Sponsored By
Subscribe to FIS | Register with FIS | Advertise with FIS | Newsletter | About FIS | Contact us

Artisanal fishermen. (Photo: Copyright: FIS)

Small fishermen face a sea of ​​obstacles

Monday, September 11, 2017, 21:20 (GMT + 9)

Out of 37 million people engaged in artisanal fishing or aquaculture around the world, 90 per cent are in Asia and use their scarce nets, boats, cages to be able to fish or raise fish with which to survive.

Further 100 million are indirectly involved in these activities, according to data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Despite acting on a small scale, they provide two-thirds of the fish that is consumed by the population.

A reality that is "too big to ignore", as it is mentioned in its name by the global network "Too Big To Ignore" (TBTI), with hundreds of researchers trying to respond to the problems that drown the sector.

Its director, Ratana Chuenpagdee, listed the main concerns at a conference in Rome: ecosystem health, social justice, livelihoods and food security.

On all these aspects there is a shadow of climate change, with rising temperatures and sea level and with its profound changes in the environment.

The small fishermen are among "the most affected ones without having contributed to this phenomenon," says Chuenpagdee.

Another example of inequality lies in subsidies. The expert asks to target them to large-scale fisheries, which is estimated to accumulate 60 per cent of the USD 35 million added to these fishing aids.

Unintentionally, artisanal fishing has been forced to deal with competition from large vessels in search of the maximum economic yield, and the ban on exploiting marine reserves.

It has occurred, for example, on the island of Zanzibar, where some 250,000 people (one-fifth of its population) depend directly on fishing.

Between 2005 and 2011 numerous protected areas were created there with the support of the World Bank, leaving behind traditional fishing practices and adopting other Western ones, although some problems such as catch reduction or ecosystem destruction have been solved.

In addition, the authorities intend to attract foreign investors to take advantage of the waters so far little exploited by the Tanzanians. This is reflected in a TBTI publication analyzing the situation of small fisheries in dozens of countries.


Norwegian university professor Tromsø, Svein Jentoft, explains that the communities are very diverse among them and "there are difficulties to transfer the lessons learned from one country to another".

In other words, what works in Ghana may not work in Nicaragua. Each faces its own obstacles.

In Greenland, in contrast to its large international fishing companies, local fishermen, including indigenous people and women, are clearly disadvantaged and have limited means, according to the report.

In many ways, it is possible to manage the resources and support these artisans of the sea in spite of the limitations.

In India, hundreds of ships are moored along the coast several months a year by prohibiting fishing in monsoon times to prevent damage. Only small fishermen go out to sea, those who move with oars, sails or small engines. A much-discussed measure that, according to experts, ultimately benefits the most marginalized ones.

With one of the highest rates of fish consumption per capita, Japan has the fishermen organized in cooperatives that offer them market for their products, material means, insurance and credits.

The debate is now concentrated on how to group the smaller associations, which have seen their membership decline as the population ages.

The weakness also weighs on another country of fishing tradition such as Spain, where artisanal fishermen's associations confront industrial fishing and tourism in the exploitation of a Mediterranean Sea with symptoms of exhaustion, reasons why they have joined forces to defend their interests at European level, as the study shows.

Need to put order

For FAO specialist Nicole Franz, the key is to "count on the small communities of fishermen when making any decision that affects them".

It is also necessary to recognize their rights to have the resources. In many countries there are communal norms, as in South Africa or the Solomon Islands.

Franz thinks it possible to combine the different interests at stake if the areas of action are delimited well and the rules are respected.

He recalls that small-scale fisheries and aquaculture "contribute to social stability, giving work and future prospects to the population of islands and coasts".

In order to ensure sustainable small-scale fisheries, FAO countries adopted, in 2014, voluntary guidelines that are currently being implemented at the local, regional and global levels.

"They go beyond fisheries management, they also talk about gender equality, climate change, social development and decent work," says Franz, who values ​​their "coherent and human rights-based approach."

For the time being, the guidelines are, above all, disseminating in workshops and seminars.

Jentoft sees two key actors for their implementation: States and civil society. Some have already set to work. Costa Rica has drafted a bill to include them by listening to the needs of small, mostly poor, fishermen.

The NGO Community and Biodiversity (COBI) of Mexico is working to connect artisanal fishermen with buyers and develop new forms of financing, digital platforms and collective actions.

TBTI's experts include other initiatives such as "Gente da Maré" initiative, which a few years ago brought together authorities, researchers and local associations to improve the conditions of shellfish farmers in the impoverished northeast of Brazil.

Examples that seek to combat social inequalities and give a second opportunities to artisanal fishing.

Source: Belén Delgado / EFE

[email protected]


Click to know how to advertise in FIS
United States
Sep 26, 02:20 (GMT + 9):
A child’s toy aids salmon growth
United States
Sep 26, 01:30 (GMT + 9):
Cod moves northwards in search of cooler waters
Sep 26, 01:00 (GMT + 9):
Parasitic sea lice become resistant to pesticides. The solution?
United States
Sep 26, 00:30 (GMT + 9):
Alaska’s salmon industry deems global competition as beneficial
Sep 26, 00:10 (GMT + 9):
Grant from Walmart Foundation to address human trafficking in Thai fishing industry
Sep 26, 00:00 (GMT + 9):
New USD 10 million feed factory to be opened this week
South Africa
Sep 25, 23:30 (GMT + 9):
Aquaculturists oppose to the state full control of the activity
Sep 25, 20:00 (GMT + 9):
NAFO Galician fleet satisfied with allocated quotas
Sep 25, 11:50 (GMT + 9):
C.I.R.S.PE. wants to turn jellyfish into edible product
Sep 25, 11:50 (GMT + 9):
Octopus catch collapses due to weather conditions
Sep 25, 01:00 (GMT + 9):
Sashimi Raw fish delicacy making its way to plates in Chengdu
Sep 25, 00:40 (GMT + 9):
Can 3 cans of tuna in olive oil be manufactured and sold for EUR 0.99?
Sep 25, 00:30 (GMT + 9):
Mediocre shrimp capture obtained in Baja California
United States
Sep 25, 00:20 (GMT + 9):
Gov. Scott applauds fish hatchery system
New Zealand
Sep 25, 00:10 (GMT + 9):
Minister’s decision erodes Māori fisheries settlement

105 people poisoned with histamine in tuna uncover suppliers’ fraud
Spain The Civil Guard has investigated 7 people as alleged perpetrators of a crime against public health with food products, the crime of documentary misrepresentation and a crime related to consumers.
A sea change in Pacific fish wars
Japan In ominous times, the world is already at war over fish, and seafood-loving Japan finds itself pitted against fish-hungry nations and region like China, North Korea, Taiwan, and the US.
Hurricane season leads to fishing industry catastrophic loss
Bahamas This hurricane season has caused catastrophic loss in fishing industry in The Bahamas, which led operators to think that a direct hit by Hurricane Maria could sink international markets dominated by Bahamian exports, according to Bahamas Commercial Fishers Alliance President.
Iceland makes bigger profit from warming oceans as fish swim north
Iceland Until about 2000, mackerel were a rare sight in Iceland, an island whose people have survived for centuries by fishing but today they are one of the country's most commercially important fish, both in terms of value and volume.
Maruha Nichiro Corporation
Nichirei Corporation -Headquarter-
Pesquera El Golfo S.A.
Ventisqueros - Productos del Mar Ventisqueros S.A
Wärtsilä Corporation -Wartsila Group Headquarter-
ITOCHU Corporation -Headquarter-
BAADER - Nordischer Maschinenbau Rud. Baader GmbH+Co.KG (Head Office)
Inmarsat plc - Global Headquarters
Marks & Spencer
Tesco PLC (Supermarket) - Headquarters
Sea Harvest Corporation (PTY) Ltd.
I&J - Irvin & Johnson Holding Company (Pty) Ltd.
Blue Continent Products (Pty) Ltd - (Oceana Group Limited)
Pesquera San Jose S.A.
Nutreco N.V. - Head Office
CNFC China National Fisheries Corporation - Group Headquarters
W. van der Zwan & Zn. B.V.
SMMI - Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance Co., Ltd. - Headquarters
Icicle Seafoods Inc. -Headquarter-
Starkist Seafood Co. - Headquearters
Trident Seafoods Corp.
American Seafoods Group LLC - Head Office
Marel - Group Headquarters
SalMar ASA - Group Headquarters
Sajo Industries Co., Ltd
Hansung Enterprise Co.,Ltd.
BIM - Irish Sea Fisheries Board (An Bord Iascaigh Mhara)
CEFAS - Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science
COPEINCA ASA - Corporacion Pesquera Inca S.A.C.
Chun Cheng Fishery Enterprise Pte Ltd.
VASEP - Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters & Producers
Gomes da Costa
Furuno Electric Co., Ltd. (Headquarters)
NISSUI - Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. - Group Headquarters
FAO -Food and Agriculture Organization- Fisheries and Aquaculture Department (Headquarter)
Hagoromo Foods Co., Ltd.
Koden Electronics Co., Ltd. (Headquarters)
A.P. Møller - Maersk A/S - Headquarters
BVQI - Bureau Veritas Quality International (Head Office)
UPS - United Parcel Service, Inc. - Headquarters
Hamburg Süd Group - (Headquearters)
Armadora Pereira S.A. - Group Headquarters
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Headquarters)
Omega Protein Corporation -Headquarter-
Marona S.A.
Marine Harvest ASA - Headquarters
Marubeni Europe Plc -UK-
Findus Ltd
Icom Inc. (Headquarter)
WWF Centroamerica
Oceana Group Limited
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. - Headquarters
Friosur S.A. - Headquarters
Cargill, Incorporated - Global Headquarters
Benihana Inc.
Leardini Pescados Ltda
Mitsubishi Corporation Marine Products Depts. D.Team
CJ Corporation  - Group Headquarters
Greenpeace International - The Netherlands
David Suzuki Foundation
Fisheries and Oceans Canada -Communications Branch-
Mitsui & Co.,Ltd - Headquarters
Ocean Trawlers Group - Ocean Trawlers HK Ltd.
Natori Co., Ltd.
Carrefour Supermarket - Headquarters
FedEx Corporation -Headquarter-
AKBM - Aker BioMarine ASA
Seafood Choices Alliance -Headquarter-
Austevoll Seafood ASA
Walmart / Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Supermarket) -Headquarter-
New Japan Radio Co.Ltd (JRC) -Head Office-
Gulfstream JSC
INVE Group - Head Office
Marine Stewardship Council - MSC Worldwide Headquarters
Royal Dutch Shell plc (Headquarter)
Genki Sushi Co.,Ltd -Headquarter-
Iceland Pelagic ehf
AXA Assistance Argentina S.A.
Caterpillar Inc. - Headquarters
Tiger Brands Limited
Morpol ASA - Group Headquarters
National Geographic Society
AmazonFresh, LLC - AmazonFresh

Copyright 1995 - 2017 Fish Info & Services Co.Ltd| All Rights Reserved.   DISCLAIMER