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.

Search this collection

Clear all

5 results found

reorder grid_view

Economic Analysis of Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in Selected Coastal Areas in Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam

January 1, 2013

This report is an account of a cross-country study that covered Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. Covering four sites (one each in Indonesia and Vietnam) and two sites in the Philippines, the study documented the impacts of three climate hazards affecting coastal communities, namely typhoon/flooding, coastal erosion and saltwater intrusion. It also analyzed planned adaptation options, which communities and local governments can implement, as well as autonomous responses of households to protect and insure themselves from these hazards. It employed a variety of techniques, ranging from participatory based approaches such as community hazard mapping and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) to regression techniques, to analyze the impact of climate change and the behavior of affected communities and households.

Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation: Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

January 1, 2012

This Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) has been jointly coordinated by Working Groups I (WGI) and II (WGII) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report focuses on the relationship between climate change and extreme weather and climate events, the impacts of such events, and the strategies to manage the associated risks. The IPCC was jointly established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in particular to assess in a comprehensive, objective, and transparent manner all the relevant scientific, technical, and socioeconomic information to contribute in understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, the potential impacts, and the adaptation and mitigation options. Beginning in 1990, the IPCC has produced a series of Assessment Reports, Special Reports, Technical Papers, methodologies, and other key documents which have since become the standard references for policymakers and scientists.This Special Report, in particular, contributes to frame the challenge of dealing with extreme weather and climate events as an issue in decisionmaking under uncertainty, analyzing response in the context of risk management. The report consists of nine chapters, covering risk management; observed and projected changes in extreme weather and climate events; exposure and vulnerability to as well as losses resulting from such events; adaptation options from the local to the international scale; the role of sustainable development in modulating risks; and insights from specific case studies.

IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation: Fact Sheet

November 28, 2011

This is the Fact Sheet of the IPCC report which addresses, for the first time, how integrating expertise in climate science, disaster risk management, and adaptation can inform discussions on how to reduce and manage the risks of extreme events and disasters in a changing climate. The report evaluates the role of climate change in altering characteristics of extreme events. It assesses experience with a wide range of options used by institutions, organizations, and communities to reduce exposure and vulnerability, and improve resilience, to climate extremes. Among these are early-warning systems, innovations in insurance coverage, improvements in infrastructure, and the expansion of social safety nets. This report also incorporates case studies that illustrate specific extreme events and their impacts in different parts of the world, as well as a range of risk management activities. The report provides information on how 1) Natural climate variability and human-generated climate change influence the frequency, intensity, spatial extent, and duration of some extreme weather and climate events 2) The vulnerability of exposed human society and ecosystems interacts with these events to determine impacts and the likelihood of disasters 3) Different development pathways can make future populations more or less vulnerable to extreme events 4) Experience with climate extremes and adaptation to climate change provides lessons on ways to better manage current and future risks related to extreme weather and climate events, and 5) Populations can become more resilient before disasters strike.

Spatial Planning in the Coastal Zone of the East Asian Seas Region: Integrating Emerging Issues and Modern Management Approaches

November 1, 2011

This regional resource document, produced for the East Asian Sea region, integrates emerging issues such as climate change and sea-level rise, and new management concepts such as ecosystem-based management, disaster risk reduction and results-based management into spatial planning and coastal zone management procedures and processes. It is intended to be used as the basis for individual country consultations on their national needs and priorities for capacity building in spatial planning, which may be in the area of mapping and scenario exercises on climate change vulnerability, risk analysis and planning exercises, or perhaps a more basic understanding of how to integrate the principles of ecosystem-based management into existing national spatial planning regimes.

A Study of DFID's Support for Post-Cyclone Livelihoods Rehabilitation In Orissa, India

March 1, 2001

The recent UK Government Foresight Project on Global Food and Farming Futures recognises the intensifying pressure on the world's food system that we can expect in the next 40 years. Meeting the challenges these pressures present will require concerted effort by many research communities, among them those that focus on fisheries. In recent years there has been a growth in research pointing to the importance and potential of fisheries in a development and food security context. As a major source of animal protein, especially for poor consumers in developing countries, securing and making the most of the world's fisheries remains an important priority (Béné et al., 2007; World Bank/FAO/WorldFish, 2010). In parallel, after a period of disillusionment following the failures of investments in fisheries projects in the 1970s and 80s (Cunninghamet al., 2009; NFDS, 2009), interest in supporting this sector through foreign aid is returning. Not surprisingly, this resurgence of interest aligns with the renewed focus on agriculture and food security, following relative neglect in the 1990s (World Bank, 2008). With increasing interest in investing development aid in fisheries, it is legitimate to ask what recent research has to offer by way of guidance. In this short paper we summarise the potential significance of several emerging areas of fisheries research and management for helping secure and enhance fish supplies from wild harvesting in support of food security in the developing world. Our focus is on small-scale fisheries, for reasons summarised below, these fisheries present a critical frontier in the challenge to increase the contribution of fish to poverty reduction and sustainable development.We have selected four areas –loosely titled 'Small-scale fisheries' (highlighting gender and inland fisheries), 'Governance reform', 'Resilience in practice' and 'External drivers'. Although more conventional fisheries topics such as effort reduction, fish stock sustainability and gear technology remain important, we feel these other broad areas of inquiry offer particular promise for supporting development efforts. Our intention is to provide readers with a short accessible introduction to these topics and to provide entry points to some of the recent literature.