Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) today released an informational brochure about the role of small-scale fisheries in the global seafood industry and SFP’s approach to engaging them. The brochure outlines strategies for improving the management of such fisheries, and offers case studies based on SFP’s FIP (fishery improvement project) work in developing countries such as Mexico and Indonesia, where small-scale fisheries are a vital source of local food security. 

Central to SFP’s efforts is working with national governments in developing countries to recognize that investing in the regulation and management of local fisheries will bring about social and economic benefits. 

And while there is no single blueprint for managing resources in small-scale fisheries, SFP has identified three important elements to improvement at this level. 

  1. There is committed industry leadership.
  2. All parties involved—buyers, processors, producers, and regulators—have a good understanding of the sustainability demands from the market.
  3. There is some scientific data on the current health of the stock. 

Additionally, improvement efforts are more successful when local seafood industries develop self-regulation through the use of control documents—a contract among key supply chain stakeholders in which they agree to comply with government regulations. There are also important benefits in creating mitigation plans to address social issues affecting small-scale fisheries. 

“We have to treat every fishery as a unique challenge, while also using the lessons we have learned in the past and seeking partners who are also engaging small-scale fisheries,” said Jack Whalen, SFP’s Project Coordinator. 

The brochure can be found here