Improving our knowledge on small-scale fisheries: data needs and methodologies
Nicholas Wehner and
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Nicholas Wehner: OCTO (Open Communications for The Ocean)
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In 2012, the World Bank, FAO and WorldFish Center published a review of the economic importance of fisheries entitled Hidden Harvest: The Global Contribution of Capture Fisheries. While providing essential information and estimates that are still valid, the analyses would benefit from being refined and updated, and also by including additional dimensions of the contribution of small-scale fisheries to food security and nutrition, poverty reduction, and the three dimensions of sustainable development more broadly. The intention would be to draw the attention of policy- and decision-makers to the sector’s importance and to promote the required engagement and support to realize the potential of sustainable small-scale fisheries. Such an analysis would also be an important contribution towards monitoring the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines), and of the progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a first step towards a new Hidden Harvest study, the “Workshop on improving our knowledge on small-scale fisheries: data needs and methodologies” was held at FAO in Rome, Italy on 27–29 June 2017. This expert workshop discussed: • the scope and main contents of the new study, including type of data (indicators) to be collected and subsector coverage; and • the methodologies for data collection and analyses, including key partners and information sources. About 40 external experts, as well as FAO staff from the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and other relevant FAO departments, participated in the workshop. The workshop agreed on the need for a comprehensive new study to illuminate the hidden contributions of small-scale fisheries to the three dimensions of sustainable development, as well as identifying the key threats to these contributions. The study would be a collaborative effort, and the next steps envisaged include the development of a study design based on the workshop outcomes, to be completed by the end of 2017; continuation of ongoing communications and partnership development; and launch of the research in early 2018, with a target for completion in the first half of 2019.
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