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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Key Factors Supporting Small-Scale Coastal Fisheries Management

April 15, 2014

This synthesis was designed to provide an evidence base on the success factors in small-scale coastal fisheries management in developing countries and, in turn, to assist the Rockefeller Foundation in developing its strategy for its Oceans and Fisheries Initiative. In doing so, it identifies and describes some 20 key factors believed to influence success in small-scale coastal fisheries management. The report was completed via a rapid review of key sources of knowledge from formal published literature, institutional literature, key informants and Internet searches. The focus was on key success factors in achieving a balance of social, economic and ecological benefits from the management of small-scale coastal fisheries. A summary of these success factors can also be explored via an interactive visualization that accompanies this report.

Fisheries Stakeholders and Their Livelihoods in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry

December 1, 2011

Fisheries Management for Sustainable Livelihoods (FIMSUL), is a project implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the Government of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in India under the World Bank Trust Fund. The project aims at establishing frameworks, processes and building capacities of various stakeholders especially the Government, to facilitate the planning, design and implementation of appropriate fisheries development and management policies. The project includes a series of stakeholder consultations and consensus building apart from detailed review and analysis in the areas of stakeholders, livelihoods, policy, legal and institutional frame work and fisheries management. Based on this, the project comes up with various options. Stakeholder and livelihoods analysis is an essential part of the project. Hence, the team developed a detailed methodology for stakeholder consultations which includes district level stake holder consultation, focus group discussions, household interviews and validation meetings. The stakeholder and livelihoods analysis following the above steps were done through six NGO partners working along the coast of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry who were initially trained on the methodology. The NGO partners : PLANT, GUIDE, FERAL, SIFFS, DHAN Foundation and TMSSS, especially a team of dedicated staff engaged by them had done an excellent work in completing comprehensive field exercises and bringing out 12 district/regional reports. These are published separately. This report is a compilation, and complete analysis of the stakeholders and livelihoods based on all the field level consultations.This report is expected to be an important reference to primary stakeholders' perspective of the important stakeholders in the sector, the livelihoods and livelihoods changes, the adaptive and coping mechanism, the relationships between the stakeholders and their hopes and aspirations. For any development intervention for any sector or stakeholder group, region-wise in marine fisheries in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the information from this report could be an important starting point.

APFIC/FAO Regional Consultative Workshop: Securing sustainable small-scale fisheries: Bringing together responsible fisheries and social development, Windsor Suites Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand 6–8 October 2010

January 1, 2010

In the Global Overview, we attempt to view reefs in terms of the poor who are dependent on reefs for their livelihoods, how the reefs benefit the poor, how changes in the reef have impacted the lives of the poor and how the poor have responded and coped with these changes. It also considers wider responses to reef issues and how these interventions have impacted on the lives of the poor.

Understanding the Factors that Support or Inhibit Livelihood Diversification in Coastal Cambodia

September 1, 2005

The DFID funded Aquatic Resource Dependency and Benefit Flows Project (ARDB) was a short research project (from January 2005 until August 2005) implemented by IMM of the UK, the Community Fisheries Development Office (CFDO) of the Department of Fisheries (DoF) and the Community Based Natural Resource Management Learning Institute (CBNRM LI), both based in Cambodia. It had two aims: 1) to build capacity amongst government and NGO staff in understanding the importance of livelihood diversification as a potential tool for natural resource management, and 2) to further our understanding of how factors that support or inhibit rural household diversification may apply in the Cambodian coastal context and beyond. The current report reviews the background to, and the findings of, that research.