Senior Pacific officials commit to promoting small-scale fisheries in national policies

The commitment comes amid the release of new research by FISH and James Cook University and University of Wollongong that illustrates how government fisheries managers influence and interpret new coastal fisheries policies introduced into the existing policy landscape of the Pacific region.

The officials’ participation in the congress was made possible by their home institutions with additional support from a project funded by the Australian Centre of International Agricultural Research and led by University of Wollongong , the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), FISH and a WorldFish collaboration with the Oak Foundation .

Taking action on the SSF Guidelines

A key theme of the conference, held in Chiang Mai, Thailand on 22–26 October 2018, was the implementation of the FAO’s Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines (‘SSF Guidelines’). Endorsed by the 126 countries that make up the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) in 2014, the SSF Guidelines represent the first global instrument on small-scale fisheries.

Encouraging greater adoption of the guidelines will be a focus for Rosalie Masu, Deputy Director, Inshore Fisheries Division, Solomon Islands Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.

“Now that I’m really familiar with the SSF Guidelines, I want to make sure that we [the Solomon Islands government] align our strategies and policies to the guidelines. In particular, I want to focus on uptake of community-based resource management , enable communities to have ownership of governance processes and ensure fishers have a voice in decision-making processes,” she said.

Till now, the SSF Guidelines have not been featured prominently in the work plan of most Pacific Island countries. This is partly because of the many existing regional policies that address coastal fisheries,…