SSF Guidelines

This just dropped in my email from SAMUDRA which is the news gathering and dissemenating section of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers(“ICSF”)

Special News : 24 July 2014, 17:57 pm IST
ICSF’s Pondy Workshop sets sights on implementing FAO SSF Guidelines
At the end of a 4-day workshop organized by the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), titled “Towards Socially Just and Sustainable Fisheries: On Implementing the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication”, held at Pondicherry, India, between 21 and 24 July 2014, around 70 participants from 20 countries in Asia, Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe agreed to take forward the agenda of ensuring the implementation of the SSF Guidelines to realize socially just and sustainable fisheries for small-scale fishing communities around the world.

The workshop participants included ICSF Members and representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs), governments, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and academia who have been engaging with the development of the SSF Guidelines.

The Guidelines have been developed through a consultative and participatory process that dates to 2010, and directly involves representatives of governments and CSOs who have been active both in proposals and in formulation.

ICSF has provided leadership to the CSO community in all major consultations leading to the development of the Guidelines. In the process, it has been ably supported by the World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP), the World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fishworkers (WFF) and the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC).

At the Pondy Workshop, participants developed a common perspective that will form the basis of a shared plan of action that small-scale fishery communities can use for the implementation of the Guidelines. They also agreed to establish a mechanism to monitor all significant initiatives to implement the Guidelines from a CSO perspective to ensure they comply with a human-rights-based and gender-transformative approach to fisheries.

Recognizing the indivisibility of fishers’ rights from human rights, the workshop participants stressed the importance of community-driven change and how the tremendous positive energy, synergy and complementarity generated at Pondicherry can now be harnessed to transcend the SSF Guidelines to realize a greater vision for small-scale fishing communities all over the world.

More information on the Pondy Workshop can be found at

Note to Editors:

Around two-thirds of the world’s total fish production destined for direct human consumption comes from the small-scale and artisanal fisheries sector, which accommodates over 90 per cent of those who make their living from fisheries. For every ten fishers and fishworkers, more than nine originate from small-scale fisheries. They include coastal and marine; riparian and riverine; and lakeshore and lacustrine fishers and fishworkers, including indigenous peoples, who are either full- or part-time, or seasonal or occasional.They comprise both resident and migrant fishers and fishworkers, including internal and international migrants living and working in the proximity of urban centres or in far-flung rural areas.

Women comprise at least half the workforce in small-scale fisheries, contributing vitally to sustaining fisheries-based livelihoods. They help sustain fisheries-based livelihoods, but they are often unrecognized and poorly compensated.

Many small-scale fishing communities are fully dependent on access to fishery resources and land for enjoying benefits from fishing, for carrying out processing and marketing, and for housing and meeting other community needs.

ICSF is an international NGO that works towards the establishment of equitable, gender-just, self-reliant and sustainable fisheries, particularly in the small-scale and artisanal sector. For more, please visit

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