International Legal Responses for Protecting Fishers’ Fundamental Rights Impacted by a Changing Ocean

By Julia Nakamura, Julia Cirne Lima Weston, and Mitchell Lennan

“Climate change directly impacts the marine landscape where fishers operate. Most fishers rely on fishing for food, income and/or employment. A changing ocean can therefore significantly impact fishers’ lives and hinder the full exercise of their rights of access to fisheries resources, rights to fish, to food, to work, to culture, and to a healthy, clean and sustainable environment. This article questions whether international law supports the protection of fishers’ fundamental rights in the changing ocean context. The authors begin by elucidating what such context means to fishers and their rights, taking special account of small-scale fishers and vulnerable groups. The obligations of States Parties to key instruments under the law of the sea and international climate change law, vis-à-vis States’ obligations under human rights treaties and other relevant international guidance, are explored with a view to furthering the protection of fishers impacted by a changing ocean…..” 

Photo: Lina Macanhe, courtesy of ‘Fishers Tales’

Related SDGs:

  • Reduced inequality
  • Climate action
  • Life below water