Happy World Fisheries Day 2021

Click on the welcome message by TBTI Director Ratana Chuenpagdee

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

Credits: Svein Jentoft, Ratana Chuenpagdee, Alicia Bugeja Said, and Moenieba Isaacs

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 SSF Guidelines. 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.

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.

This book will be published by Springer MARE Publication series in early 2022.
For more information, CLICK HERE.

‘Blue Justice for Small-Scale Fisheries – A Global Scan’ e-book

Launch of Spanish version chapters from Latin America and the Caribbean

Chapters from Volume I and II from Latin America and the Caribbean region are now available in Spanish language.
VISIT the e-book page and look for the 'orange boxes' next to individual chapters.

Also, be sure to read the new chapter on 'Artisanal fishers of Peninsula Valdés, Argentina,
confronting asymmetries of power
and rights in the management of a Protected
' by Marta Piñeiro. 

Libro digital 'Justicia Azul para la Pesca Artesanal – Análisis Global'
Lanzamiento de capítulos en español de América Latina y el Caribe

Los capítulos del Volumen I y II de la región de América Latina y el Caribe ya están disponibles en español.
VISITA la página del libro digital y busca los 'recuadros naranjas' junto a los capítulos individuales.

Blue Justice for Small-Scale Fisheries
Virtual tour

What does 'Blue Justice for Small-Scale Fisheries' look like? This virtual tour with cases from around the world showcases the realities of small-scale fisheries and highlights the urgency of creating a more equitable and just space for small-scale fisheries.

Dried Fish Processing in the Indian Sundarbans

Credits: Aishik Bandyopadhyay, Raktima Ghosh, Jenia Mukherjee, Amrita Sen, Anuradha Choudry, Shreyashi Bhattacharya, Swarnadeep Bhattacharjee and Souradip Pathak

The combined riparian and coastal topography of West Bengal hosts a great many varieties of fish that builds the dietary habit of her people. Fish is not only consumed in its raw, unprocessed form, but it is equally popular in its salted and unsalted dried version, enriched in nutritive elements. Traditional fish drying process involves many people who participate in different phases of the operation along the coastlines of Bengal in order to eke out their living. Apart from the market-driven value, dried fish, associates a deep sociocultural, ecological and sustenance relations with the local people of Indian Sundarbans, a part of the world’s largest delta carved by the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna river systems in combined India and Bangladesh. This video presents the story of dried fish and those who have long engaged themselves in fish drying practices at Frasergunj village of Indian Sundarbans, West Bengal.

Vulnerability and Social Justice among Fishing Households Headed by Women in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

Credits: Ragnhild Lund and Fazeeha Azmi

In Sri Lanka, women play an important role in the small-scale fisheries value chain. The district of Batticaloa, on the east coast, has suffered the impacts of both war (1983–2009) and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Prior to these disasters, many people – both men and women – relied on fisheries-related activities for their livelihoods. In the post-war context, Batticaloa’s fish production has shown substantial growth and become increasingly competitive. Drawing on an analytical framework from the fisheries governance literature, twe aim to unpack women fishers’ vulnerabilities and identify barriers to social justice in the small-scale fisheries sector.

Pescastemic Rights for Blue Justice: Aquaculture and Coal Power Complexes in Chile

Credits: Jeremy Anbleyth-Evans

In the marine environment of Chile, significant protests from small-scale fishers and wider coastal communities have repeatedly stated concerns about Blue Justice. These concerns have specifically been about the areas zoned for aquaculture in the south, and coal powered, smelter, petrochemical port industrial complex contamination found in the north. There is a need for participatory, testimonial, epistemic, and decolonial environmental rights, both today and in the context of new constitution to realize marine democracy. A series of case studies from Quintero in the north and Quellon in the south show that current marine environmental human rights are insufficient, and that the system needs to evolve.

Strengthening Capabilities of Individuals and Communities Through a Small-Scale Fisheries Academy

Credits: Cornelia E. Nauen and Maria Fernanda Arraes Treffner

This case study about the Small-Scale Fisheries Academy, Senegal, explores the development and adaptation of inclusive empowerment methods based on the Gender Action Learning System to enable agency at individual and collective levels through inclusive and active learning entailing real-life applications. Such empowerment is key to creating a more level playing field, enabling active participation of small-scale fisheries in policy processes. Propelled by the Blue Justice concept and experiential visual learning that engages women and men who tend to be otherwise excluded from such processes, small-scale fisheries could become a key component of fisheries sustainability within inclusive, interdisciplinary approaches and policies that transcend narrow, technical, and instrumental thinking and practice.

Living on the edge: Small-scale women fish processors of northern coastal Andhra Pradesh, India

Credits: District Fishermen’s Youth Welfare Association (DFYWA)

On the Northeastern coast of Andhra Pradesh, women who process and trade in dried fish have experienced increasing hardships. With the concentration of fish trade at major harbours, women must take long journeys to do business at sites that provide no water source for drinking or washing, no toilets, and no place to rest. In the villages, urbanization and development have reduced available beach drying areas, either through direct encroachment or through erosion caused by altered landscapes. Due to the lack of secure land tenure, women are unable to invest in the maintenance or construction of fish drying infrastructure.

Child Labour in Dried Fish Processing in Bangladesh

Credits: Dried Fish Matter Bangladesh team

The use of child labour in fish processing is extremely common, in both inland and marine drying sites in Bangladesh. It is customary for children to support their parents by providing assistance in family-run drying operations, but paid work is also very common. Extremely young children may be observed conducting such work. This video presents visual documentation of child labourers at fish drying yards in Bangladesh, including Rohingya refugees and internal migrants displaced by natural disasters.

A day onboard Amir Majhi's dinghy

Credits: Mohammad Arju

A fishing ban season will start from midnight. The day before, I interviewed the local fishers on Nijhum Dweep Island in the Bay of Bengal. A local fisher, Amir Majhi, invited me on board his dinghy for a day fishing trip. I spent the day with Majhi and his young family members on the water. In the video shot in the nearshore water of the Bay of Bengal, we talk about the fact that the fishers in Bangladesh are not properly compensated during the fishing ban seasons.


Credits: Mohammad Arju

This mini-documentary focuses on exclusionary and unjust practices in wildlife conservation in the Bay of Bengal and how those practices undermine the fishers’ stewardship. The visuals present a representative narrative of artisanal fishing in Bangladesh. Two local conservation practitioners (including me) told the story in the form of on-site interviews and narrated by another of our colleagues.

Understanding Vulnerability of Urban Waterfront Communities to Rapid Development: the Case of Lagos Lagoon, Nigeria

Credits: Kafayat Fakoya, Ayodele Oloko, Mistura Olaleye, and Sarah Harper

Rapid urban development and sand dredging are a direct threat to fisherfolk livelihoods in Lagos Lagoon, Nigeria. In this video we hear from four residents of Ilaje -Bariga community – Baba Oloko, Baba Ibeji, Alhaja Animashaun and Alhaja Sekinat – whose livelihoods have all been impacted by sand dredging.

Governance for Blue Justice: Examining Struggles and Contradictions in Atlantic Canada’s Small-Scale Fisheries

Credits: Evan J. Andrews

Two stories about Atlantic Canada’s small-scale fisheries captured the news and held public attention in the second half of 2020. One story in Newfoundland and Labrador involved a foreign company’s acquisition of locally-owned fish processing plants, while another story in Nova Scotia involved Indigenous fishers exercising their constitutionally-protected treaty right to earn a moderate livelihood from fishing lobster. Although the two stories took place independently of each other, they both reflected small-scale fisheries struggles and included calls for a careful examination of justice.

Interaction between artisanal fishers and trawlers

Credits: Blue Ventures/Transform Bottom Trawling coalition

When small-scale fishers and bottom-trawlers collide, tensions and conflict arises. Sylvester, a small-scale fisher working in Liberia finds himself squeezed and pressured by the presence of much larger trawlers which fished historically within Liberia’s coastal zone.

Life as an artisanal fisher

Credits: Blue Ventures/Transform Bottom Trawling coalition

What is life like for an artisanal fisher in Liberia? Hear from small-scale fisher Sylvester as he describes his life as an artisanal fisher, sharing the same waters as industrial trawlers in Liberia.

The origins of the 6-mile limit

Credits: Blue Ventures/Transform Bottom Trawling coalition

Sylvester and Cole, two small-scale fishers working in Liberia reflect on the origins of the 6-mile nautical limit for trawler vessels and discuss what has changed since then.

Small-scale fisheries in the Turks and Caicos islands: Struggling to stay afloat in the tax haven

Credits: John Claydon and Marta Calosso

Small-scale fisheries were once the bedrock of the economy in the Turks and Caicos Islands, a UK overseas territory and tax haven in the Wider Caribbean Region. Overshadowed by tourism and offshore finance, small-scale fisheries are now a forgotten industry, and fisherfolk are marginalized. The fleet, fishing methods, and work conditions have changed little in 50 years. Fishers have a weak voice, limited power, and have lost some traditional fishing grounds to protected areas. Seafood processing plants dominate the industry, and ex-vessel prices have stagnated. Jobs are increasingly filled by low-paid immigrants. Most fishers cannot access different markets, negotiate prices, or compete against cheap imported seafood. As the country pursues 'Blue Growth', securing an equitable role for small-scale fisheries will become increasingly challenging.

Adopting a Blue Justice Lens for Japanese Small-Scale Fisheries

Credits: Yinji Li in cooperation with Inatori Branch of Izu Fisheries Cooperative Association led by Mr. Kuwashi Suzuki

This video highlights the urgent need for adopting the Blue Justice lens to Japanese small-scale fisheries by presenting a recreational boat intrusion experienced by Kinme fishers of the small fishing community of Inatori, to whom the Kinme fishery is the bread-and-butter job. At first glance, it is a problem on a tiny scale, impacting only a small portion of the fishing population. However, we argue that this is not merely a coordination problem between professional and recreational fisheries, and there are other essential background factors.

What Does It Mean to Create a Just Space for Maine Fishing Communities?

Credits: Lilian Saul

This video is a collaborative attempt to portray the social, economic and environmental strengths of Maine fishing communities and the challenges they are facing against the U.S. federal government. Maine fishers will have justice when the federal government supports their livelihoods, their deep love and care for the ocean, and forge a plan which allows Maine lobstering communities to continue to thrive. The video was produced by Lillian Saul who has lived and fished as a deckhand in Maine for six years, and now studies small-scale fisheries governance at Memorial University of Newfoundland as a graduate student. The voices in the video are of people living on the island and facing these challenges.

Conflicts in the Artisanal Fishing Industry of Ghana: Reactions of Fishers to Regulatory Measures

Credits: Jemimah Etornam Kassah and Cephas Asare

Ghana has a vibrant artisanal fishery; yet an increased demand for fish, its open access nature, and overcapacity have been some of the major drivers of declining catches. Major sources of conflict include the unlawful trade in transshipped trawl bycatch, illegal fishing methods and a perceived lack of justice. Previous top-down approaches to management were met with resistance from fishers who demanded for their voices to be heard during decision making processes. This submission takes viewers through the evolution of the current co-management approach, which ensures the voices of fishers are also heard, towards the sustainable management of fisheries in Ghana.

Coastal Small-Scale Fisheries in Brazil: Resentment against Policy Disarray

Credits: Sergio Mattos, Mariana Mattos, Maciej John Wojciechowski, and Leopoldo Gerhardinger

Brazil's fisheries policy frameworks are marked by weak institutional arrangements and political instability, and are therefore unable to cope with the complexities of fisheries governance. In 2019, an 'oil spill' hit the Brazilian coast, directly affecting around 150,000 fishers. The aftermath of the oil contamination was amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic, intensifying a health crisis and an emerging socio-economic tragedy. We argue towards advancing key Blue Justice principles as core issues for small-scale fisheries development and the sustainability of coastal areas. But unfortunately, with Blue Justice remaining at the fringes of blue planning and policy, "resentment against policy disarray" will also remain a wicked synthesis of fisheries management and development in Brazil.

Vulnerability to Viability in Small-Scale Fisheries and Blue Justice

Credits: Vulnerability to Viability (V2V) Global Partnership

V2V Global Partnership works on building strong small-scale fisheries. Issues of justice and injustice are core to our work, and blue justice is a prominent area of focus. Blue growth-related injustices emanate from the economic development processes that seem to encroach into coastal fishery spaces and come in direct conflict with fishers’ ideas and perceptions about what justice means within the same space. At V2V Global Partnership, we see justice / injustice issues as key determinants of vulnerability and viability, and the transition of small-scale fisheries communities from their vulnerable situation to viability.

Official Launch Event of the IYAFA-2022 on November 19, 2021

Credits: FAO with other relevant organizations and bodies of the United Nations system

Click on the image below to view the video.

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2022 the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022). The launch of the IYAFA 2022 celebrated their diversity; showed their contributions to achieving the SDGs; and worked towards building and strengthening partnerships at all levels. The launch event also paid tribute and link to the currently informal World Fisheries Day, celebrated on 21 November, and was an opportunity to inform about the goals and objectives of IYAFA 2022 to inspire action-oriented celebrations throughout the year.

4th World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress Series

Announcement of the 4th regional congress
4WSFC Latin America and the Caribbean


Share your thought about what needs to be done to achieve Blue Justice for Small-Scale Fisheries. You can also tell us what you would like to see happening during IYAFA 2022. CLICK HERE to leave your comment.

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