Key messages: high-level event on small-scale fishers’ rights

By Elisa Morgera

Women fishworkers in Ghana. Photo: Nessim Stevenson

High-Level Event for World Oceans Week 2022
Exploring Challenges, Opportunities and Alliances for the Protection of Small-scale Fishers’ Human Rights

Common challenges

  • The lack (and denial) of legal and de facto recognition of customary rights, collective rights, traditional rights, tenure rights, and historical dispossession.
  • Lack of information on small-scale fishing rights, permits and permit conditions.
  • Insufficient space for small-scale fishers to be able to benefit from meaningful consultations on introducing small-scale fishing rights and adopting fisheries management and conservation measures (even when there are constitutional guarantees to that effect, there is a need to detail the parameters for full and effective consultation in national legislation).
  • The negative impact from the COVID-19 pandemic and associated response measures on small-scale fishers, especially their access to marine resources and markets.
  • Exclusion of small-scale fishers from fair share of benefits due to exclusion from marine spatial planning, barriers in accessing markets, and employment.
  • Multiple public authorities need to protect small-scale fishers’ rights but inter-sectoral coordination among fisheries, other ocean use sectors, human rights, environmental, labour authorities is weak.