TBTI’s Blue Justice Commitment

Blue Justice for Small-Scale Fisheries

On February 20, 2019 TBTI submitted its ‘Blue Justice for Small-Scale Fisheries’ commitment, as a voluntary commitment towards fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. The pledge was made, along with 1,400 others, following the call made at the first UN Ocean Conference held in New York City in June 2017. The second Ocean Conference, which was wrapped up in Lisbon on July 1, 2022, was an opportunity to review how much progress has been made towards the commitment.

TBTI’s Blue Justice commitment aims at calling attention to the current discourse about Blue Growth/Blue Economy, which poses potential risks to the rights of small-scale fisheries to the fishing livelihoods, which include access to fisheries resources, to coastal and ocean space, and to local, national and international markets. It argues for social justice of small-scale fisheries to be recognized not only as a basic right, but also as an important condition for the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and for the implementation of the SSF Guidelines.

Since the commitment, TBTI has delivered the followings:

More work like these needs to continue, considering that small-scale fishing communities continue to be  left out of the conversation. This point was clearly made by small-scale fishers and their organizations at the Lisbon Conference. If close to half of all fish caught for human consumption are caught by small-scale fisheries, small-scale fishers should have their say, in all aspects of the fisheries and in all decisions about the ocean.