The implementation of small-scale fisheries guidelines (SSF) is critical to the achievement of sustainable development goals 2030, said delegates to the 33rd session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) in Rome.
The delegates reached the conclusion at a side event on the importance of small-scale fisheries: global, regional and national initiates on the sidelines of COFI. His Excellency, Eng Cheasan, Director General of Fisheries Administration in the Cambodia, who welcomed delegates to the side event, highlighted the importance of small-scale fisheries to food security and poverty alleviation.
Silje Rem, Senior Adviser, The Knowledge Bank, NORAD noted that securing the rights and listening to the needs of small-scale fishing communities, is important, “if we are to reach the 2030 sustainable development goals”. She noted that sometimes the needs of small-scale fishing communities have not been protected when marine protected areas(MPAs) are mapped.
For his part, Gaossuo Gueye, President of Confederation of African Artisanal Fisheries Professional Organisations (CAOPA) noted that there is a need for dialogue among government, professional fishing organisations and fishermen, to achieve sustainable development goals 2030. Additionally, he explained that CAOPA holds two events annually including World Fisheries Day and World Women’s Day where issues critical to small-fisheries are addressed ranging from Women participation in fisheries, climate change, and IUU .
Gueye explained that CAOPA works in cooperation with both national and regional organisations such as West African Network of Journalists for Responsible Fisheries (REJOPRAO), Fédération des Pêcheurs Artisans de l’Océan Indien (FPAOI) to highlight the challenges facing coastal communities. Furthermore, Gueye proposed the setting up of national fisheries organisations to cater to the challenges facing local small-scale fishers.
By Emeka Umejei