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Since the endorsement of the SSF Guidelines by COFI in 2014, recognition of the importance of small-scale fisheries has increased, as has awareness of the recommendations contained in the Guidelines. These are now reflected in various regional and national policies and strategies. Moreover, as demonstrated by the case studies presented here, the principles and provisions of the SSF Guideline are being applied by a broad range of actors and in diverse contexts.
This technical paper presents efforts from around the world to develop sustainable small-scale fisheries value chains and improve post-harvest operations and trade. The case studies constitute a rich selection of experiences and are diverse, not only with regard to their geographical setting, but also in the topics covered and approaches employed. In each case, certain practices have been implemented that can be emulated by other small-scale fisheries value chain actors operating under similar conditions. Furthermore, a defining trait shared by all the case studies is the diligence with which each have unlocked value chain potential without undermining sustainable development or resource management.
In this conclusion, we summarize and discuss key interventions highlighted by the different authors in relation to each paragraph in Chapter 7 of the SSF Guidelines. The discussion is not exhaustive, but rather focuses on key findings as they relate to the implementation of the Guidelines. The reader is encouraged to read the full paper to learn more and fully appreciate all of the initiatives described herein.
7.1 All parties should recognize the central role that the small-scale fisheries post-harvest subsector and its actors play in the value chain. All parties should ensure that post-harvest actors are part of relevant decision making processes, recognizing that there are sometimes unequal power relationships between value chain actors and that vulnerable and marginalized groups may require special support.
Guiding Principle 6 of the SSF Guidelines recognizes the importance of consultation and participation. Paragraph 7.1 emphasizes this explicitly, calling for all post-harvest small-scale fisheries actors to be included in decision-making processes. Case studies 1, 2 and 9 provide concrete examples of how these actors can be empowered to engage in decision-making.
Case study 1: The CFPA is a fisherfolk organization composed entirely of women, operating in the post-harvest value chain of the flyingfish fishery in Barbados. Its functioning illustrates the practice of representing post-harvest actors through a democratic system, whereby one individual is elected to represent the needs of all members in national, regional and international processes. The CFPA has kept a strong focus on capacity development of its members as a way to promote the equitable participation of women. In addition, the organization has earned respect and recognition from a variety of players within the fisheries sector, due in part to its cohesion when dealing with issues affecting flyingfish processors, and maintains an effective working relationship with the government authority responsible for management and development of Barbados fisheries.
Case study 2: Not being able to attend management meetings where decisions are made is a common challenge for small-scale fishers and fishworkers. The experience of the Kodiak Jig Initiative demonstrates the efforts of fishers and community advocates to influence decision-making to achieve policy changes that enabled access to resources, ensuring opportunities for current and future small-boat fishers. The effort subsequently supported a marketing initiative designed to ensure that the benefits of access to resources could be fully realized. To accomplish this, a partnership between Kodiak-based jig fishers, the Alaska Jig Association (AJA) and the Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC) was formed to ensure a strong presence was maintained by fishers and community representatives in relevant meetings and processes throughout the State of Alaska.
Case study 9: FIPs are premised on a multistakeholder approach for enhancing sustainable fisheries management, with products derived from FIPs being used to fulfil sustainable seafood sourcing quotas among value chain actors in high-value markets. The FIP model is increasingly being applied to small-scale fisheries, allowing post- harvest actors at different points in the value chain to participate in decision-making processes. However, studies have found that power is often unequally distributed, and fishers and fishworkers do not always play a central role in the management of FIPs; hence the need to evolve the model to be more inclusive of fishers and fishworkers.
7.2 All parties should recognize the role women often play in the post-harvest subsector and support improvements to facilitate women's participation in such work. States should ensure that amenities and services appropriate for women are available as required in order to enable women to retain and enhance their livelihoods in the post-harvest subsector.
Gender equality and equity is Guiding Principle 4 of the SSF Guidelines, and is addressed in Chapter 8. In relation to value chains, post-harvest and trade, paragraph 2. underlines the need to facilitate women's participation and ensure that appropriate amenities and services are available for women, so that they may retain and enhance their livelihoods in the post-harvest subsector. Case studies 1 and 3 highlight efforts to ensure equal rights and opportunities for women in the post-harvest subsector.
Case Study 1: The Bridgetown Fisheries Complex (BFC) is operated by the Markets Division of the Government of Barbados. The women members of the CFPA make their living working in this facility. The CFPA provides women with a united front, which has enabled them to pursue better conditions in the government-run facility where they work, while at the same time engendering a form of ownership within the public facility. Working conditions in the processing hall have been improved to ensure the provision of satisfactory amenities and facilities for the pursuit of their livelihoods.
Case study 3: FAO-Thiaroye processing technique (FTT) kilns have been shown to benefit women by reducing hazardous working conditions and providing them additional social autonomy (due to faster processing times). As a result, women have more time to focus on family obligations and pursue other income-generating and self- improvement activities, such a marketing their products and furthering their education. Hence, the FTT creates an opportunity for women to assert themselves in the value chain in new ways that enhance their livelihoods.
7.3 States should foster, provide and enable investments in appropriate infrastructures, organizational structures and capacity development to support the small-scale fisheries post-harvest subsector in producing good quality and safe fish and fishery products, for both export and domestic markets, in a responsible and sustainable manner.
Social and economic viability is Guiding Principle 13 of the SSF Guidelines. Paragraph 3. recognizes that appropriate organizational structures, capacity development and access to infrastructures can enable fishworkers to improve their livelihoods by producing safe, high-quality products. Case studies 1, 2, 4 and 5 focus on aspects of how investments in appropriate infrastructure as well as associated organizational structures and capacity development can improve product quality and livelihoods.
Case study 1: The BFC processing hall, assigned with input and at the urging of CFPA members, is a spacious facility built to meet international standards. Having this dedicated space has allowed the CFPA processors to collectively benefit from improved hygiene conditions. Furthermore, the members have benefited from training to implement food handling standards, which in turn has improved the profitability and marketability of their products. Securing access to facilities in the BFC procession hall is noted by members as one of the main successes of the CFPA.
Case study 2: In order to realize the marketing strategy of the Kodiak Jig Initiative, it was necessary to secure infrastructure and organizational support. Although Kodiak is one of the largest fishing ports in the United States of America, with year-round seafood processing, local fishing infrastructure is primarily geared toward large-scale, high-volume fisheries. Challenges included access to ice and use of a crane to offload product. Ultimately, an arrangement was formed with a custom processor that focused primarily on smoking salmon, which provided additional processing opportunities to its fishworkers in the spring -- a slow time for salmon processing. Key to operational success was having AMCC Kodiak-based staff follow the product throughout the entire process, from offloading to market delivery. Separately, jig fishers also lobbied the city council for a working waterfront with infrastructure for independent small- scale harvesters, resulting in the construction of a public use crane at a multi-use dock in the main harbour.
Case study 4: The FCWC Fish Traders and Processors Network (FCWC FishNET) was established to inform the design of market-driven incentives to leverage the collective power of its members to facilitate regional trade. Working with partners, FCWC FishNET refurbished a cross-border fish trading and processing centre (the Manhean Fish Processors and Traders hub) in Tema, Ghana. This centre now attracts fish traders and processors from neighbouring countries and distributes a substantial quantity of processed small-scale fisheries products to fish markets in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Togo. With the addition of a water supply system and washroom facilities, the upgraded facility can now guarantee clean and safe processed fish products for trade. The improvements also make it easier for processors and traders to work efficiently during bumper harvests, as the new amenities include bath and toilet facilities as well as rooms for changing and nursing babies.
Case study 5: The Sea Grant Extension Programs (SGEPs) in Alaska and California facilitate evaluation of seafood direct marketing (SDM) options and provide tools and capacity development through business education for fishers seeking greater control over the value chains they are engaged with. The SGEP model -- based on principles of non-advocacy, trust, effective communication and using a science-based approach -- supports sound decision-making and increased understanding of the practicalities and limitations of SDM. Engagement by SGEP staff with fishing communities includes consultations, workshops and collaborative research, with materials developed from these efforts in turn useful for building capacity for the post-harvest sector. This approach is unique compared to other case studies presented, as the SGEP provides guidance for fishworkers seeking a more entrepreneurial approach to trade.
7.4 States and development partners should recognize the traditional forms of associations of fishers and fish workers and promote their adequate organizational and capacity development in all stages of the value chain in order to enhance their income and livelihood security in accordance with national legislation. Accordingly, there should be support for the setting up and the development of cooperatives, professional organizations of the small- scale fisheries sector and other organizational structures, as well as marketing mechanisms, e.g. auctions, as appropriate.
Paragraph 7.4 of the SSF Guidelines echoes the importance of consultation and participation. It calls for recognition of traditional forms of association of fishers and fishworkers, and stresses the need to promote their organizational and capacity development all along the value chain. Case studies 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 consider the role of associations in enhancing incomes and livelihood security of small-scale fishers.
Case study 1: Between 1997 and 1999, the Barbados Government implemented an externally funded Fisherfolk Organization Development Project (FODP). The project's long-term objectives were to work closely with formal and informal fisherfolk organizations to sustainably improve the livelihoods and well-being of fisherfolk, and to establish fisherfolk organizations capable of active participation in fisheries management and development. A notable outcome was the establishment of the CFPA, which was supported by the Barbados Fisheries Division (BFD) through the FODP. The BFD continues to provide in-kind support to the CFPA. This support has been key in allowing the CFPA to engage in collective action, as discussed in the preceding sections.
Case study 2: The Kodiak Jig Initiative highlights the power of cooperation in achieving common objectives. Formed in the late 2000s, the Alaskan Jig Association (AJA) worked closely with AMCC in order to develop an engagement strategy to reduce the barriers to entry for young fishers. It also endeavoured to ensure that any policy changes by the fishery management council concerning rockfish and cod in the Gulf of Alaska included clear, entry-level opportunities and access for small-scale fisheries. Likewise, AMCC worked closely with AJA to support organizational capacity so that written comments and verbal testimony could be regularly submitted at council meetings. In addition, AMCC provided financial support to cover airfare and lodging, enabling fishers to participate in key meetings.
Case study 3: The FAO-Thiaroye processing technique study found that the FTT kiln can act as a platform for social organization, but noted that the most successful examples of FTT deployment involved a cooperative or association that could take responsibility for the kiln's management and maintenance. Critically, the study recognized that the FTT in and of itself does not overcome barriers to forming effective associations, but rather recognized the importance of providing adequate organizational and capacity development training among processors to achieve a sustainable outcome.
Case study 5: The SGEPs have supported SDM capacity development through classes, workshops, websites and other outreach efforts, for fishers in California and Alaska. SDM entails fishers selling their catch via fewer intermediaries. SDM arrangements can provide outlets for lower-volume, higher-value (price-per-pound) fisheries, thus reducing their vulnerability to the variability and uncertainty of pricing that often characterize long supply chains, especially those tied to global markets. The capacity building and outreach materials provided by the SGEPs address the various types of SDM arrangements, practical considerations for each type, and guidance on topics such as maintaining product safety and quality, business administration and, for specific fisheries and geographies, summary permitting requirements. These combined efforts have enabled entrepreneurial fishers in suitable contexts to start, and enhance, small businesses.
Case study 6: Fair Trade USA's Capture Fisheries Standard (CFS) requires registered fishers to form at least one democratically run Fishers' Association, unless they already belong to a legal cooperative. The cooperative or association then facilitates coordination of responsibilities on resource management, vessel safety and trade relationships. It also represents the fishers on any matters affecting their fishing activities, including the CFS, laws, fisheries regulations, and fisheries-related infrastructure. Individual members are elected to one or more Fair Trade Committees to manage the use of the Fair Trade Premium funds received for product sold on Fair Trade USA's terms. These committees are then responsible for managing and spending the funds on behalf of the participants, and for tracking and reporting their use. It is interesting to note that in 2015, Fair Trade USA's household survey in Indonesia revealed that 68 percent of participants indicated that the "Premium fund" was the most important benefit of Fair Trade USA's programme. However, in 2016, this figure shrank by 20 percent, while "Formation of a Fishers' Association" grew by 8 percent. This may indicate that while the material benefits of the programme are appreciated, having a platform through which to discuss the management of the value chain is also highly valued.
7.5 All parties should avoid post-harvest losses and waste and seek ways to create value addition, building also on existing traditional and local cost- efficient technologies, local innovations and culturally appropriate technology transfers. Environmentally sustainable practices within an ecosystem approach should be promoted, deterring, for example, waste of inputs (water, fuelwood, etc.) in small-scale fish handling and processing.
Economic, social and environmental sustainability is Guiding Principle 10 of the SSF Guidelines. Paragraph 7.5 encourages avoidance of post-harvest losses and searching for ways to add value through improved handling and processing. Case studies 3 and 7 emphasize tools, low-cost techniques and changes in behaviour to minimize post- harvest losses and add value.
Case study 3: The FTT kiln is a safer, more economic and environmentally sustainable method of smoking fish. The kiln reduces fuelwood consumption by way of an ember furnace tray, a feature that dually conserves the heat -- and therefore the quantity of fuel needed -- in a separate compartment from the fish, while also concentrating the heat on the fish and allowing for greater control over the smoking process. The kiln has also been shown to reduce fish losses and waste, particularly during peak harvest times; in contrast, the low capacity of traditional smoking devices invariably translates into high post-harvest losses during bumper seasons. The practice is being disseminated through peer-to-peer knowledge exchanges and trained "change agents", who provide FTT training and demonstrations in culturally appropriate ways.
Case study 7: The SmartFish Programme's crab project culminated in the production of SmartFish Manual No. 35, entitled, "Enhancing the value of mangrove crab through reduction of post-harvest losses". The manual details ten improved practices for catching and handling mud crabs that were developed, tested and optimized, in collaboration with small-scale fishers and fishworkers, to improve crab quality across all links in the value chain. To implement the improved handling practices, eight culturally appropriate methods of communication were developed in French and Malagasy, in both written and radio format. This included posters, a number of workshops, and three mobile demonstration units on small boats to reach fishing communities in remote locations.
7.6 States should facilitate access to local, national, regional and international markets and promote equitable and non-discriminatory trade for small-scale fisheries products. States should work together to introduce trade regulations and procedures that in particular support regional trade in products from small-scale fisheries and taking into account the agreements under the World Trade Organization (WTO), bearing in mind the rights and obligations of WTO members where appropriate.
Guiding Principle 3 of the SSF Guidelines calls for the elimination of discriminatory policies and practices in small-scale fisheries. Paragraph 7.6 underscores the need to facilitate access to markets and support regional trade for products from small-scale fisheries. Case studies 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 detail efforts to achieve and maintain market access for products from small-scale fisheries in an equitable and non-discriminatory fashion.
Case study 3: The FTT facilitates access to international markets by producing products that meet international food safety standards and has the potential to catalyse further international trade. Traditional methods of smoking fish result in elevated levels of carcinogenic compounds that often fail to meet international standards. The FTT kiln is used in more than a dozen African countries by companies that process and export fish to the EU and the United States of America. It is also being piloted in small-scale fishing communities in Sri Lanka, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Philippines. In addition to accessing international markets, FTT products can fetch a higher price in local and regional markets, though in practice the results have been mixed: many consumers may not be able to afford the FTT-smoked fish, or prefer the appearance and texture of fish smoked using traditional techniques.
Case study 4: The FCWC FishNET study discusses efforts to enhance informal trade linkages and partnerships to promote regional trade in West Africa. Fish traders and processors are able to leverage these trade networks to address two major constraints for small-scale fisheries in the region: transportation costs and access to credit. For instance, using their established networks, Togolese fish importers in Ghana combine consignments to fill bulk cargo trucks. This "bulk transport" has several advantages: it allows the importers to negotiate reduced transport rates, and border inspection post formalities are simplified by bulk inspections of the fish consignments, thus expediting the delivery of fish products. To address the issue of access to formal credit, microfinance institutions have been set up to support small-scale fisheries organizations by providing loans that are the collective responsibility of those party to the respective organization. This affords traders and processors access to credit that they might normally have difficulty obtaining, due to lack of collateral or inexperience with bookkeeping or bureaucratic credit procedures. Bulk transport and microfinance allow fish traders to increase the volume of fish imported, thus ensuring an abundant fish supply for rural communities at cheaper prices, while also playing a crucial role in improving income and livelihood security and facilitating fish trade in domestic and regional markets.
Case study 5: The Fisherman's Direct Marketing Manual was developed by the Alaska SGEP at the request of the Alaska Department of Commerce, in response to a precipitous drop in salmon prices in the early 1990s, to provide guidance to fishers wishing to pursue SDM as a form of livelihood diversification. Now in its fifth edition, the manual covers business planning, e-commerce, packaging and shipping, custom processing, the seafood distribution system and seafood handling. It also provides a tool for fishers to assess their own capacities for pursuing SDM as a business diversification strategy. The "Market Your Catch" website developed by California SGEP builds on the manual and provides a web-based resource for those interested in SDM. Both the manual and the website describe the challenges involved and the characteristics and skills needed to succeed with SDM arrangements. These resources ultimately help small-scale fishers evaluate options and plan for accessing new markets locally, regionally and/or nationally.
Case study 7: In 2013, as part of a strategy to increase export earnings, the Malagasy Government ministry responsible for fisheries resources began granting permits for collection and export of live crabs. This reorientation of the fishery from frozen to live exports sought to capitalize on their higher value: the average live weight price per kilogram is 1.7 times higher than that of frozen crabs. In concert with the crab project to reduce mortality and post-harvest losses described above (paragraph 7.5), Madagascar has since capitalized on the export of live crabs. Survey results show that the national average price more than doubled between 2012 and the end of 2015. For fishers in one region, income increased by 26 percent, despite their catch decreasing by 33 percent over the same period. Increase in sales price was the primary reason for the increase in income; reduction in post-harvest losses also contributed, but to a lesser extent.
Case study 8: The Maldivian Government has played a key role in promoting the pole- and-line skipjack tuna fishery internationally, while also ensuring national citizens are able to share in the benefits derived from this value chain. The Government has also been proactive in adapting the fishery to global market conditions. By spearheading market-oriented sustainability innovations like achieving Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification and implementing transparency systems to distinguish Maldivian tuna exports as sustainable -- which are increasingly important criteria in high-value markets -- the Government has created an enabling environment where the Maldives tuna fleet and its citizens are well placed to thrive in the global seafood marketplace.
7.7 States should give due consideration to the impact of international trade in fish and fishery products and of vertical integration on local small- scale fishers, fish workers and their communities. States should ensure that promotion of international fish trade and export production do not adversely affect the nutritional needs of people for whom fish is critical to a nutritious diet, their health and well-being and for whom other comparable sources of food are not readily available or affordable.
Enhancing the contribution of small-scale fisheries to food security is a key objective of the SSF Guidelines, while holistic and integrated approaches are recognized in Guiding Principle 11. Paragraph 7.7 cautions against adversely affecting the food security and nutrition needs of people who depend on fish in their diet through the promotion of export-oriented trade. Case studies 7 and 8 review examples of export-oriented fisheries that enhance food security and livelihoods.
Case study 7: The opening of the Malagasy mud crab fishery to the export of live crabs led to fears that the amount of crab available for local consumption might decrease. In fact, the opposite has been observed, with local consumption and sales increasing between 2012 and 2017. Fishers selling into the frozen crab market have to choose between selling and consuming their catch, as the majority of crabs destined for this market are accepted at the point of sale. By contrast, exporters of live crab reject on average between 40 and 45 percent of the crabs supplied to them, due to the crabs being weak, injured, or otherwise unsuitable for live export. A significant portion of these rejected crabs are then diverted into the local market. Some are even eaten by the fishers themselves: in one community surveyed, the estimated amount of catch eaten by fishworkers increased from 5 percent to 9 percent. In this way, the reorientation of the fishery toward live export has both increased earnings (due to the higher prices for live crab) and improved food security.
Case study 8: Maldivian citizens depend on tuna for food and nutrition: they consume an average of 94 kg of skipjack tuna each year, and this consumption is growing. In recognition of this demand, the Government of Maldives has put in place measures to ensure the domestic market continues to receive a steady supply of affordable tuna products, thus safeguarding national food security from impacts of international trade. The Government has encouraged the development of a robust domestic processing industry, including small-scale processors that serve remote island communities, which guarantees that large volumes of tuna are landed in Maldives. Additionally, the Government has ensured the sector provides employment all along the pole-and-line tuna fishery value chain, thus providing sustained income for its citizens.
7.8 States, small-scale fisheries actors and other value chain actors should recognize that benefits from international trade should be fairly distributed. States should ensure that effective fisheries management systems are in place to prevent overexploitation driven by market demand that can threaten the sustainability of fisheries resources, food security and nutrition. Such fisheries management systems should include responsible post-harvest practices, policies and actions to enable export income to benefit small-scale fishers and others in an equitable manner throughout the value chain.
Equity and equality is Guiding Principle 5 of the SSF Guidelines. Paragraph 7.8 calls for fair distribution of benefits from international trade and appeals to ensuring effective fisheries management systems are in place to prevent overexploitation driven by market demand. Case studies 6, 8 and 9 present examples of initiatives designed to address these priorities.
Case study 6: The case of Fair Trade USA demonstrates how equitable distribution of benefits as well as measures to mitigate overexploitation can complement fisheries management systems. Fair Trade Certified products earn a price premium, which ensures that benefits from international trade are fairly distributed -- between 2014 and 2019 participating Indonesian small-scale fishers earned over a quarter of a million United States dollars in Fair Trade premium, on top of the landing price. With these funds, fishers are able to identify investments through the Fair Trade Fishers' Association, described above (paragraph 7.4), to improve their livelihoods and the marine environment. Registered fishers are required to adopt responsible fishing practices and work to protect fishing resources and biodiversity. This includes data collection and monitoring to provide better information on the state of fish stocks. For fisheries facing difficulties with data availability and management, the programme helps build the capacity of fishers so they can meet the resource management criteria over time. Notably, although the demand for certified handline tuna is increasing, there are safeguards in place to ensure the tuna is not overfished by registered fishers such as limiting fishing activity via "no fishing Fridays."
Case study 8: The efforts of the Government of Maldives concerning the skipjack tuna fishery demonstrate how national policies can promote fair distribution of benefits and guarantee effective fisheries management systems are in place to prevent overexploitation driven by market demand. The pole-and-line tuna fishery is a key source of income in the country, supporting an estimated 30 000 livelihoods, or 8 percent of the population. The Maldivian Government has taken many steps to facilitate preferential access to and benefits from skipjack tuna resources for its own citizens. For instance, only national one-by-one tuna vessels are licensed to fish in the country's waters, ensuring citizens and the domestic industry are the beneficiaries of its tuna resources. Further to this, by setting a price premium on top of the Bangkok base price for tuna exports and a minimum base price for domestic tuna sales, the Government of Maldives has enabled the fishing sector to maintain a high and stable income. Concerning overexploitation, the Government has also been instrumental in the establishment of a precautionary management framework for skipjack tuna in the Indian Ocean.
Case study 9: Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) aim to address unsustainable fishing practices through continuous, stepwise and time-bound improvements within fisheries. The projects are multistakeholder partnerships that may include fishers/ producers, NGOs, fisheries managers, governments, researchers, and other members of the fisheries supply chain. FIPs facilitate access to international markets. Measures to improve sustainability are set out in an agreed work plan, and progress is monitored to ensure it stays on track. FIPs have been criticized for not achieving long-term results, exacerbated by incidents of "greenwashing" or facilitating market access while failing to improve fisheries sustainability, and not sufficiently engaging governments, fishers and fishworkers in their planning and execution. Nevertheless, FIPs generally have proved effective in providing a platform for dialogue and strategic direction involving various stakeholders.
7.9 States should adopt policies and procedures, including environmental, social and other relevant assessments, to ensure that adverse impacts by international trade on the environment, small-scale fisheries culture, livelihoods and special needs related to food security are equitably addressed. Consultation with concerned stakeholders should be part of these policies and procedures.
Social responsibility is Guiding Principle 12 of the SSF Guidelines. Paragraph 7.9 suggests adopting policies and procedures, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, to address adverse impacts of international trade on small-scale fishing communities. Case studies 6 and 8 explore the practical application of this recommendation.
Case study 6: While Fair Trade USA is a market-based initiative that does not set policy, its Capture Fisheries Standard (CFS) does put in place procedures designed to ensure that adverse impacts of international trade are equitably addressed. The CFS establishes resource management criteria for achieving sustainable, responsible fisheries, and social responsibility criteria to protect the fundamental human rights of fisheries workers, including wages, working conditions and access to services. The CFS further supports fishers in developing the necessary skills to effectively negotiate with supply chain actors regarding the purchase, processing and marketing of their products. Last but not least, the CFS aims to improve the stability of fishers' incomes by ensuring a transparent and stable trading relationship with buyers. Fair Trade USA and its partners have been able to replicate the successes seen in Indonesia in other fisheries and countries, specifically in Mexico, Maldives, Mozambique, the United States of America and the Solomon Islands.
Case study 8: For the pole-and-line skipjack tuna fishery in Maldives, one of the biggest threats is losing access to key international markets by not keeping pace with the changing sustainability demands for tuna. In this regard, Maldives has kept pace with increased sustainability demands not only through its national fisheries management measures, but also through its leadership within the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) -- and its efforts to obtain and retain MSC certification for the skipjack tuna fishery in the Indian Ocean. Developing the sector has been vital in increasing the equitability of the fishery, allowing businesses in Maldives to derive more value from the products that are exported, as well as allowing fishers to receive a higher price for the fish that they land. As a result of government efforts the pole-and-line skipjack tuna fishery has continued to play an important economic role in Maldives, both in terms of foreign exchange earnings and its contribution to the incomes of those working in the sector. Fishers are well paid compared to other professions in the country, earning twice the national per capita average monthly income. Overall, the fishers' high income reflects the cultural value placed on the pole-and-line fishery, making it an increasingly attractive sector to work in.
7.10 States should enable access to all relevant market and trade information for stakeholders in the small-scale fisheries value chain. Small-scale fisheries stakeholders must be able to access timely and accurate market information to help them adjust to changing market conditions. Capacity development is also required so that all small-scale fisheries stakeholders and especially women and vulnerable and marginalized groups can adapt to, and benefit equitably from, opportunities of global market trends and local situations while minimizing any potential negative impacts.
Transparency is Guiding Principle 8 of the SSF Guidelines. Paragraph 7.10 reinforces this core tenet through its recommendation that market and trade information be made available to stakeholders in the small-scale fisheries value chain. Case studies 4 and 5 present examples of efforts to develop capacity and enable access to relevant market information.
Case study 4: FCWC FishNET members have been involved in the organization of Fisheries Learning Exchanges (FLEs) on such topics as smoking methods, hygiene, processing, packaging and trading techniques. FLEs bring together representatives from different communities to share knowledge and expertise in fisheries, thus facilitating their empowerment. The free and equal flow of information keeps actors along the value chain informed and allows them to benefit from market trends. FLEs have been shown to foster cooperation and trust, and provide a common platform for trade partnerships and linkages in small-scale fisheries value chains in the FCWC subregion.
Case study 5: The experience of SGEPs regarding SDM arrangements highlights efforts to build capacity by providing information and resources to enable small-scale fishers to participate in local food movements and other marketing opportunities occurring on different scales. In addition to supporting market feasibility studies, the SGEPs provide information to help fishers navigate complex permit requirements, seafood handling, safety and commerce. To ensure that accurate information is provided for the various options that may be explored by fishers, the SGEPs engage relevant regulatory agencies in the development of resources. In both Alaska and California, personnel from these agencies have reviewed SDM materials, co-authored publications on requirements for SDM, worked extensively on quality handling efforts, and attended SDM workshops to field questions from fishers. The information gathered and provided by the SGEPs has increased awareness and understanding among small-scale fishers, communities and agency personnel, thus allowing them to make informed decisions on whether or not to pursue SDM.
Source: Zelasney, J., Ford, A., Westlund, L., Ward, A. and Riego Peñarubia, O. eds. 2020. Securing sustainable small-scale fisheries: Showcasing applied practices in value chains, post-harvest operations and trade. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 652. Rome, FAO. https://doi.org/10.4060/ca8402en