Joining forces for fisheries: 300+ delegates to gather for 3rd World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress

Over 300 researchers, practitioners, small-scale fishers, civil society organizations, environmental organizations, and government representatives will gather next week to discuss transdisciplinary strategies to sustain small-scale fisheries as a global food production system, as part of the 3rd World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress.

Taking place on 22–26 October 2018 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, under the theme ‘Transdisciplinary and Transformation for the Future of Small-Scale Fisheries’, the congress aims to facilitate information exchange, knowledge sharing, and discussion among participants who come from more than 50 countries for the viability and sustainability of small-scale fisheries worldwide.

Small-scale fisheries provide food for billions of people and livelihoods for millions. Yet these services are being affected by factors such as ineffective governance, inequitable fishing rights, climate change and competition for space and resources with large-scale industrial fisheries and other sectors. In many instances, social, policy and governance transformations have taken place in response, but these are not always favorable to small-scale fisheries. Careful considerations are therefore needed to promote positive outcomes and avoid harmful ones.

Svein Jentoft, professor and founding member of the Too Big To Ignore Partnership: “Small-scale fisheries come in various sizes, use a wide range of gears, and can take place in all water bodies. Some of the catches from small-scale fisheries are for household consumption, while others are sold through different market channels. Fishing is not only an economic activity but a way of life. This means that policy and governance approaches must be sensitive to context, which is why a broad range of knowledge, including that of people working in small-scale fisheries, needs to be integrated across policymaking, capacity development and research.”

The congress’s main theme is addressed by focusing on knowledge, innovation and capacity in the context of science, community, and policy. The congress will be opened by three plenary speakers to set the stage on recent developments in these realms:

Ratana Chuenpagdee, congress co-chair and project director of TBTI: “The conference aim is to find feasible and innovative solutions to make fisheries sustainable, including ways to support implementation of the SSF Guidelines and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. These discussions will lay the foundation for greater coordination across the sector leading up to the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in 2021–2030 and the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture in 2022.”  

The congress is co-hosted by Maejo University and TBTI, in partnership with Department of Fisheries, Thailand, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Kasetsart University, Mahidol University, the Marine Biodiversity Research Group of Ramkhamhaeng University, and the Marine Science Association of Thailand.


Mirella Leis

Too Big To Ignore | Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries Research
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL, A1B 3X9, Canada
+1 (709) 699-5688