Photo e-book: The Meaning of Small – Diverse Values of SSF

The photo e-book contains a collection of case studies depicting the importance of small-scale fisheries and highlighting their meaning in a particular place, community, or fishery.  

Edited by: Mirella Leis and Ratana Chuenpagdee



Small-scale fisheries are part of the land - and seascape that many people are familiar with, mostly because of their presence in, and proximity to, places where tourism and recreational activities take place. Yet, unless one grows up in a fishing village, or comes from a fishing family, it is hard to fully appreciate the real meaning of small-scale fisheries.

Small-scale fisheries are certainly not just a part of history, culture, and heritage that needs to be preserved like some people may think. Their values go beyond providing food, income, jobs, and livelihoods. What makes small-scale fisheries unique are the diverse values and meanings that are inherent to them, as well as those that they bring to society.

The information contained in this photo e-book is a product of a close collaboration amongst TBTI members, partners and supporters of small-scale fisheries. They contributed their knowledge and experience about fishers, communities, and places that they are familiar with. They did so by identifying, through a rapid assessment survey, the range of values associated with a small-scale fishing community that they know, as well as the ecological, social and economic contexts of each location.

Together, through these photos, the 32 case studies portray both the commonalities and differences in what small-scale fisheries mean from place to place. About 34% of these case studies originate from Asia and Oceania, followed by Latin America with 28%, and Africa, Europe, and North America with about 13% of the total number. The 48 contributors to this e-book are experts in the field of small-scale fisheries research and practice, and have an average of 10 years of experience in this topic. 

This photo e-book and the larger TBTI study on diverse small-scale fisheries values it derives from, represent an initial step in understanding their range and significance in relative terms at a global scale. It also recognizes that more effort is needed in terms of an in-depth exploration of values and how they contribute to fisheries resource governance and to societal well-being. It is the diversity and richness of the small-scale fisheries values that invite researchers, practitioners, policy makers and fishers to work together on improving their governance. 'The Meaning of Small’ shows that small-scale fisheries are not only ‘too big to ignore,’ but are also ‘too important to fail.’


To download the e-book, click here.