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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Towards Sustainable Development of Small-Scale Fisheries in the Philippines: Experiences and Lessons Learned from Eight Regional Sites

January 1, 2012

The focus of this paper is on the governance of small-scale or municipal fisheries in the Philippines in light of the critical role they play in the livelihoods of coastal communities and in the nation as a whole. The information and insights presented in this lessons learned brief derive from the project entitled Strengthening Governance and Sustainability of Small-Scale Fisheries Management in the Philippines: An Ecosystem Approach. The project was funded principally by the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), and implemented from 2008 to 2011 by WorldFish in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and selected partners. The underlying project's goal was to 'strengthen governance and sustainability of small-scale fisheries management in the Philippines.' There were a variety of objectives spread across two project phases but the primary objectives relevant to this brief include: (1) identifying issues at project sites and assessing potential for an ecosystem based approach to fisheries management, and (2) assessing current fisheries management practices at different levels of governance and identifying best practices. The purposes of this paper are twofold. First, it aims to provide brief highlights of the project findings; second, it aims to present the lessons learned in project implementation covering substantive sectoral concerns as well as methodological issues. It wraps up with some strategic directions that need to be undertaken to reverse the deteriorating conditions of small-scale fisheries (SSF) while at the same time promoting their sustainable development.