Melinda Agapito is a senior research fellow working with TBTI at Memorial University. Melinda’s doctoral research focused on marine protected area planning where she examined social and ecological priorities trade off in geographical space, an approach suited for prioritizing places for conservation. Her previous community-based work in the Philippines allows her to appreciate the importance of both social values and evidence-based information in conservation planning.
What are you currently working on within the context of SSF?
MA: I help lead some activities of the ‘SSF Stewardship‘ cluster of TBTI. Specifically, my focus is on gear impact studies that examine local cases as well as a global aspect of gear impacts. I also contribute to the research efforts of ‘Fish as Food‘ TBTI cluster. My interest in this area focuses on the relationship of food security and small-scale fishery at a global scale.
If you could single out one or two most significant factors in securing the sustainability of SSF, what would these be?
MA: Currently, ensuring the sustainability of SSF sounds challenging in most governing systems. Basic principles namely, accountability and justice can make a difference. These principles, however, are a requirement not only from government but also among the governed individuals. From a research and governing perspective, equitable access and distribution of fishery resources could provide a useful yardstick in obtaining a sustainable SSF.