Small-scale and artisanal fisheries are estimated to capture less than 35 per cent of the global catch (Global Ocean Commission, 2014). Small and artisanal fisheries are essential for the food security and livelihoods of many coastal populations in developing countries. They represent 96 per cent of fishermen and women in the world (Global Ocean Commission, 2014). Globally, there are about 54 million fishermen and women and fish farmers of which the great majority live in developing countries, LDCsThe category of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) was officially established in 1971 by the UN General Assembly with a view to attracting special international support for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the UN family.
more and SIDSSIDS were recognized as a distinct group of developing countries facing specific social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities at the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (3-14 June 1992).
more (FAO, 2012). Of this, artisanal fisheries employ 12 million people worldwide and industrial fishing half a million (Jacquet and Pauly, 2008).
Negative fishing practices such as IUU and harmful subsidies particularly affect small-scale fishers. Hence, such harmful practices should be stopped. Small-scale and artisanal fishermen and women tend to fish in areas close to the coast and within the exclusive economic zone of a country. Obtaining access in key international markets for fish caught by small and artisanal fishers is quite challenging. Tariffs on fish and fish products are relatively low, with an average of 11.6 per cent in the most-favoured nation tariff (UNCTAD and the Commonwealth Secretariat, 2016), but ensuring homogeneity in quality, best safety and handling practices, transport and adequate packaging is impossible to achieve for them without the participation of different major actors along the value chain.
This explains why such fishermen and women mainly bring their fish harvest to local markets and restaurants. Thus, more support for small-scale artisanal fishers to connect them to global markets and make them part of fish stocks management systems deserves attention.
IAEG-SDG selected two indicators to measure progress towards target 14.b: the
proportion of national fishery production by country that are catches by small-medium fishery businesses” and “progress by countries in adopting and implementing a legal/regulatory/institutional framework which recognizes and protects access rights for small-scale fisheries. Unfortunately, no data are currently available to populate either of these indicators.