Celebrating IYAFA


Join us to mark the collective achievements during IYAFA and plan the way forward!

Throughout the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA) in 2022, there has been a significant rapprochement of the fisheries, environmental and human rights communities of practice to improve the protection of small-scale fishers’ (SSFs) human rights. At the end of 2022, we published together with FAO and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights a policy brief to underscore the opportunities for policy coherence and SDG synergies arising from the coherent protection of SSF’s human rights.

Genuinely engaging with small-scale fishers’ lived experiences, living memories and knowledge, including those of women and children, is essential to understand the multiple threats to their basic rights, from within and outside the fisheries sector. But it is also essential to understand the multiple threats to ocean health and to value SSFs’ contributions to everyone’s human right to a healthy environment.

As we reach the official closing of IYAFA, we evaluate progress towards build long-lasting alliances for sustainable fisheries and SSF’s human rights protection as a matter of general public interest. See our updated IYAFA webpage.


Prof Elisa Morgera

Director, One Ocean Hub



Empatheatre performance ‘Lalela uLwandle (Listen to the Sea)’
Performance in Rome

Empatheatre team will perform the highly praised play after the official, highlevel closing of IYAFA at the FAO headquarters on Friday 31 March. Lalela uLwandle is a research-based theatre project that makes visible stories of living with the ocean that are seldom seen or heard in the public domain. One of the characters tells the stories of small-scale fishers in South Africa over various generations. Empatheatre recently performed the play at COP27 in Egypt (pictured above).

Listen to the Lalela uLwandle radio play and watch the illustrated short film

Lalela uLwandle explores themes of intergenerational environmental injustices, tangible and intangible ocean heritage, marine science and the myriad threats to ocean health. An audio (radio) version of the play is available to listen here. An illustrated short film of the play, focusing on the multi-generational stories of a small-scale fisher can be watched here.

Other in-person and hybrid events in Rome...
  • Workshop on using arts-based and knowledge-solidarity network approaches for the empowerment of small-scale fishers to have their voice heard (in person only). | Wednesday, 29 March, 10am-1pm (Rome time). REGISTER HERE
  • Hybrid training event on the international and national avenues for the legal empowerment of small-scale fishers (co-organised by the One Ocean Hub with the Danish Institute for Human Rights). | Wednesday, 29 March, 2-4pm (Rome time). REGISTER HERE
  • Roundtable on the relevance of the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies for the legal protection of small-scale fisheries (co-organised by the One Ocean Hub with the Danish Institute for Human Rights, with technical inputs from FAO). | Friday, 31 March, 9-11am (Rome time). REGISTER HERE
Applying coherently the human rights-based approach to small-scale fisheries for achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals

First joint policy brief by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and the Hub on small-scale fishers’ human rights.

Fishers’ Tales exhibition on One Ocean Learn

We are delighted to announce that our knowledge-translation platform, One Ocean Learn, is hosting a new art exhibition based on the One Ocean Hub’s project Fishers’ Tales. We have selected eight artworks and stories that illuminate the inter-connections between small-scale fishers’ civil and political rights and their economic, social, cultural and environmental rights. The selection also explores small-scale fishers’ contributions to sustainable fisheries, the impacts on their livelihoods and cultures of climate change and racism, and their inter-generational transmission of knowledge.


Integrating communities’ customary laws into marine small-scale fisheries governance in Ghana: Reflections on the FAO Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries By Golo HK, Ibrahim S, Erinosho B. (2022). Published in Review of European, Comparative, & International Law.


Casting the net wider? The transformative potential of integrating human rights into the implementation of the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies By Switzer S, Morgera E & Webster E. (2022). Published in Review of European, Comparative, & International Law.


A fleet based surplus production model that accounts for increases in fishing power with application to two West African pelagic stocks By Cook R, Acheampong E, Aggrey-Fynn J, Heath M. (2021). Published in Fisheries Research


Tackling the challenges confronting women in the Elmina fishing community of Ghana: A human rights framework By Golo HK and Erinosho B. (2023). Published in Marine Policy.


International legal requirements for environmental and socio-cultural assessments for large-scale industrial fisheries By Nakamura J, Diz D & Morgera E. (2022). Published in Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law.


Shedding a Light on the Human Rights of Small-scale Fisherfolk: Complementarities and Contrasts between the UN Declaration on Peasants’ Rights and the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines in Brunori et al, Commentary on the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants (Routledge, 2022) Published with Taylor Francis E-books.


Other outputs...
  • FAO e-learning course Legal and policy considerations for sustainable small-scale fisheries (published in October 2022)  AVAILABLE HERE
  • FAO Policy and Legal Diagnostic Tool READ MORE 
Video-message from Ms Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights / World Ocean Week 2022

For the first time the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights addressed the World Ocean Day community, as part of an event where the Hub, FAO and the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment engaged in a dialogue with small-scale fisher (SSF) leaders from around the world on their needs, challenges and contributions as environmental human rights defenders.

Animation film: Defenders of the Ocean

The film explores how the One Ocean Hub works with small-scale fishers, UN agencies and other partners to protect small-scale fishers and their communities human rights during the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries (IYAFA) and beyond.

Photo-story on small-scale fishers and human rights
Short film: Ocean and Women
Short film: Indigenous Peoples and the Ocean
Ocean Connections: A Virtual Multimedia Exhibition
Exploring Challenges, Opportunities and Alliances for the Protection of Small-scale Fishers’ Human Rights
One Ocean Hub’s three led panels for the GNHRE-UNEP Summer/Winter School 2022
  • The human rights dimensions of oceans crimes and its impact on small-scale fishers WATCH HERE
  • Oceans, Art and Environmental Defenders WATCH HERE
  • Critical Human Rights Issues at the Ocean-Climate Nexus. WATCH HERE
Fostering cooperation among relevant UN bodies to advance small-scale fishers’ human rights in the face of climate change

Led by the One Ocean Hub for the UN Climate COP27 Virtual Ocean Pavilion), 14 November 2022

Hub researchers Dr Jackie Sunde and Julia Nakamura presentations at the FAO led Parallel session #4.1 - SSF-LEX: the new small-scale fisheries policy and legal database

At the 4th World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress Africa, 21 November 2023.

Dialogue Series on Human Rights Actors and Fisheries

‘Advancing the protection of small-scale fisher rights at national and international level’ organised by the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR), One Ocean Hub and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): the first webinar focused on national human rights institutions WATCH HERE and the second on international human rights mechanisms   WATCH HERE