Blue Justice: Small-Scale Fisheries in a Sustainable Ocean Economy

Blue Justice:
Small-Scale Fisheries in a Sustainable Ocean Economy

Edited by Svein Jentoft, Ratana Chuenpagdee, Alicia Bugeja Said and Moenieba Isaacs

MARE Publication Series

  • Social justice is imperative for sustainable and viable small-scale fisheries
  • Blue Growth/Blue Economy agenda has tendency to further marginalize and disadvantage small-scale fisheries
  • Examining justice in three orders of governance reveals critical insights that improve fisheries policy

For small-scale fisheries around the world, the Blue Growth and Blue Economy initiatives may provide sustainable development, but only insofar as they align with the global consensus enshrined in the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication. If states do nothing to fulfill the promises they made when they endorsed these guidelines in 2014, the Blue Economy will come at a loss for small-scale fisheries and further their marginalization in the ocean economy.

Under the umbrella of Blue Justice, this book demonstrates that these risks are real and must be considered as states implement their sustainable ocean development plans. These are human rights issues, which are embedded into governance principles and institutions and which make a difference for small-scale fisheries people in their daily lives. In stressing the importance of policies and institutions that build on the experiences of small-scale fisheries people in the contexts in which they operate, this book draws on case studies of small-scale fisheries from countries on all continents to clarify what Blue Justice entails for small-scale fisheries and make suggestions for real change.

The volume was developed through the TBTI ‘Blue Justice' initiative and includes case studies from all regions of the world with contributions from 70 authors from multiple backgrounds and disciplines. 

Through the Blue Justice paradigm, this book flags the relevance of recognizing the potential impact that different factors, including the Blue Economy approach, could bring to fishing communities, their livelihoods, cultural traditions, and other potential multidimensional conflicts. Vulnerability in fishing communities can increase and inequalities can be reinforced at different levels if individuals and community capabilities are not strengthened… A first of its kind, not to be missed, this book is informative, purposeful, and pertinent in an era of change.

Silvia Salas, CINVESTAV, Marine Resources Department, Mérida, Mexico

The studies reveal that Blue Justice is a ‘governability’ issue, which requires establishing ‘right’ institutions, that are transdisciplinary (integrated), participatory, and holistic. It is implicit from these writings that the SSF Guidelines and Blue Growth initiatives do not form two different discourses, and that the implementation of the former would resolve many of the justice issues caused by the latter, in favor of small-scale fisheries and their communities.

Oscar Amarasinghe, Professor & Chancellor, Ocean University of Sri Lanka and President, Sri Lanka Forum for Small Scale Fisheries (SLFSSF)

The release of this book intentionally coincides with the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA) in 2022 that aims to enhance understanding of, raise awareness, and support the contributions of small-scale and artisanal fisheries and aquaculture to sustainable development around the world. As part of the IYAFA celebration, TBTI will organize a virtual book tour that will be held in conjunction with the 4th World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress Series.