Sustainable Fisheries

Special collection

Worldwide, small-scale coastal fisheries contribute significantly to providing food, employment, and incomes to many very poor people. But these same fisheries, and the ecosystems upon which they rely, are under increasing threat from a combination of climate change, pollution, over-fishing, and the exploitation of resources.

Fisheries management has been a major component in trying to address some of these issues, but with limited global success. The potential of fisheries, if managed well, is considerable but what form that potential will take will depend on how and why fisheries are managed.

This collection of reports and presentations explores just this question, describing some of the challenges faced by small-scale fisheries worldwide and their efforts to address these challenges and improve the health and well-being of the people who are dependent on these threatened environments.

The collection brings together the "grey literature" of the field, valuable work that is not readily available through academic journals and databases but is instead spread across dozens of organizational websites. This set of reports was initially identified as part of a synthesis review of key lessons commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation's Program on Oceans and Fisheries. We are pleased to make it more easily available for others to use and build on and encourage researchers and practitioners to add relevant work to the collection.

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A Fishery Manager's Guidebook, Second Edition

June 1, 2009

A Fishery Managers' Guidebook was first published as an FAO Fisheries Technical Paper in 2002 to meet the need for information and guidance on the broad and often complex task of fisheries management. Based on subsequent experience and feedback gained from publication of the first edition, this new volume, has been expanded to provide broader coverage of the key elements of the task and updated in order to keep track of the rapid developments in theory and practice as academics and practitioners struggle to confront the many challenges facing modern fisheries management.

Managing Small-scale Fisheries: Alternative Directions and Methods

January 1, 2001

Human dependence on marine and coastal resources is increasing. Today, small-scale fisheries employ 50 of the world's 51 million fishers, practically all of whom are from developing countries. And together, they produce more than half of the world's annual marine fish catch of 98 million tonnes, supplying most of the fish consumed in the developing world. At the same time, increased fishery overexploitation and habitat degradation are threatening the Earth's coastal and marine resources. Most small-scale fisheries have not been well managed, if they have been managed at all. Existing approaches have failed to constrain fishing capacity or to manage conflict. They have not kept pace with technology or with the driving forces of economics, population growth, demand for food, and poverty. Worldwide, the management and governance of small-scale fisheries is in urgent need of reform. This publication looks beyond the scope of conventional fishery management to alternative concepts, tools, methods, and conservation strategies. There is, for example, broader emphasis on ecosystem management and participatory decision-making. Interested readers will include fishery managers, both governmental and nongovernmental; instructors and students in fishery management; development organizations and practitioners working on small-scale fisheries; and fishers and fishing communities that wish to take responsibility for managing their own resources.