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Fishing for a Secure Future: Opportunities for Reforming Fisheries Governance. Robert Pomeroy University of Connecticut-Avery Point and Patrick Christie University of Washington. Presentation Outline. Why Care About Fisheries Issues and Threats US Foreign Assistance Framework

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fishing for a secure future opportunities for reforming fisheries governance

Fishing for a Secure Future: Opportunities for Reforming Fisheries Governance

Robert Pomeroy

University of Connecticut-Avery Point


Patrick Christie

University of Washington

presentation outline

Presentation Outline

Why Care About Fisheries

Issues and Threats

US Foreign Assistance Framework

Recommendations and Opportunities

purpose of assessment

Purpose of Assessment

Identify specific opportunities for investment in near-shore small-scale marine and freshwater capture fisheries to encourage:

economic growth

democracy and governance

poverty reduction

food and livelihood security

biodiversity conservation

Regions: ANE, AFR, LAC



Literature-based research (not a GAP analysis)

Stakeholder consultations

USAID operating units

U.S. government agencies (such as State, NOAA, DOI)


International organizations and donor community


Collective experience of the report team

assessment team

Assessment Team

Patrick Christie – Co-team leader

Robert Pomeroy – Co-team leader

Gene Helfman – University of Georgia

Brian Crawford – University of Rhode Island

Nancy Diamond – Diamond Consulting

Tom Grasso - WWF

Gareth Porter - WWF

Don Jackson – Mississippi State University

Ann Gordon – WorldFish Center

Patrick Dugan – WorldFish Center

Catrin Egerton – WorldFish Center

Adaoma Wosu – WorldFish Center

Natan Vinhateiro – WorldFish Center

importance of fisheries to developing countries
Importance of Fisheries to Developing Countries
  • 1.5 billion people depend upon fish for food, income & livelihood
  • 2.6 billion people receive more that 20% of their animal protein from fish, compared to 8% in developed countries
  • Up to 50% of animal protein in some countries
  • Fisheries contribute to:
    • Secure livelihoods (commercial & small-scale/artisanal)
    • Human health (food security and nutrition)
    • Economic and community development
    • Regional & international trade, export earnings
    • Environmental health and biodiversity conservation
    • Security
importance of fisheries to developing countries1
Importance of Fisheries to Developing Countries
  • Fish are the most heavily traded food commodity and fastest growing international “agricultural” commodity
  • Developing countries provide 77% of global fishing production
  • Supply-demand relationship is “south” to “north”
  • Net exports of fish in 2002 earned $17.4 billion in foreign exchange for developing countries
    • Greater than combined net exports of rice, coffee, sugar & tea!
small scale fisheries
Small-Scale Fisheries
  • Labor-intensive, non-mechanized, small boats, traditional fishing gear
  • Activities take place nearshore during trips of one day or less
  • Small-scale fishers account for 96% of the world’s fishers
  • They catch 58% of the global fish catch
  • 12-50 million men and women are estimated to be directly involved in small-scale capture fisheries (full-time, increasingly part-time, seasonal)
  • 87% of world’s fishers are in the Asia-Pacific region
  • At least 20% of those employed in fisheries earn < $1/day
  • Far more people have become involved in fishing than agriculture since 1950 (total growth rate of 400% vs. 35%)
Large-Scale Fisheries

500,000 people directly employed

People involved in fisheries-related occupations: 1.0 M

Fishing household dependents: 2.0 M

Annual catch for food is 15-40 Million tons

Small-Scale Fisheries

50 Million people directly employed

People involved in fisheries-related occupations: 150 M

Fishing household dependents: 250 M

Annual catch for food is 20-30 M tons

gender fisheries

Gender & Fisheries:

Fishing (and gleaning) part of a household livelihood strategy

Wide range of men’s & women’s fisheries occupations (e.g., catching, growing, processing, trading)

Household gender division of labor – varies by place

Women’s and girl’s contributions less often recognized



Capture fisheries are in a state of decline that began in the 1980s (and earlier for some fisheries)

Causes: overfishing, habitat loss and other environmental degradation

Example: South and SE Asia demersal stocks have been fished down to 5–30% of unexploited levels & 88% of SE Asia coral reefs are threatened by human activities

Impacts: Livelihoods and employment, reduced incomes, vulnerability to poverty, food security and nutrition, export revenue, loss of resource rent, social stability and security

importance of fisheries to developing countries2

Importance of Fisheries to Developing Countries

Decline in per capita availability and increasing prices leading to a widening gap between supply and demand, and disproportionate impact on developing countries & the poor

Capture fisheries may not meet the increasing global demand for seafood products (1.5% annually through 2020 and 2% annually for Asia) unless:

Improved resource management

Sustainable aquaculture

marine and freshwater biodiversity

Marine and Freshwater Biodiversity

Serious threats to fisheries from declining levels of aquatic biodiversity

Serious threats to biodiversity from poorly managed fisheries

Developing countries have the most significant areas of marine and freshwater biodiversity and fisheries

areas of significant marine biodiversity and fisheries

Areas of Significant Marine Biodiversity and Fisheries

Highest diversity of marine fish species is the Indo-Malay-Philippines Archipelago

Global center of marine fish biodiversity is the central Philippine islands

A second center or “peak” between peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra

freshwater biodiversity and fisheries
Freshwater Biodiversity and Fisheries
  • Latin America: Amazon River system

Richest fish fauna in the world, 3,000+ species, with at least 30 different families represented

  • SE Asia: Mekong River Basin

Largest SE Asia river with a fish diversity upwards of 1,700 species

  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Rift Valley Lakes & Congo River Basin

Support similarly high numbers of fish species

issues and threats weak governance

Issues and Threats: Weak Governance

Overfishing and excess fishing capacity

Open access

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing

Lack of information

Enforcement and compliance

Low participation in decision making


Weak management institutions and corruption

Inappropriate policies

issues and threats socioeconomic conditions

Issues and Threats: Socioeconomic Conditions


Poorly managed globalization of trade and market access

Technological advances

Rapid population growth

Health: HIV AIDS, nutrition

Political and economic marginalization

Gender inequity and inequality

issues and threats large ecosystem changes

Issues and Threats: Large Ecosystem Changes

Climate change: SLR, elevated SST, acidification

Habitat loss and pollution (coastal development)

Removal of key species, introduction of exotics

Altered freshwater inflows

opportunities in small scale fisheries

Opportunities in Small-Scale Fisheries

The fisheries sector has great potential to contribute to poverty reduction and economic growth

Moderate scope for increased benefits to poor fishers and consumers and resource rents to society, with responsible & equitable governance

Some indication that fishing is no longer the “employment of last resort,” and that fishing households are actively diversifying livelihoods.

Increasing successes with a range of new management approaches

management responses

Management Responses

Ecosystem-based management

Integrated coastal management

Precautionary approach

Adaptive management

Stakeholder participation via co-management & CBNRM

Rights-based management (use rights & limiting access)

Marine protected areas

“Data less” management in information-limited situations

Markets and certification

Livelihoods approach

  • Address underlying factors of vulnerability
  • Build resilience of fishing communities
  • Understand the diversity of fisheries
  • Utilized in a cross-sectoral manner to address the complexity of issues and threats
relationship of fisheries to the new u s foreign assistance framework
Relationship of Fisheries to theNew U.S. Foreign Assistance Framework

Framework Goal:

Helping to build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system.

fisheries the framework components
Fisheries & the Framework Components

1. Governing Justly and Democratically

  • Weak governance
  • Enforcement problems
  • Lack of stakeholder participation in decision-making

2. Economic Growth

  • Political and economic marginalization
  • Trade and market access
  • Loss of economic rents
  • Poverty and livelihoods
fisheries the framework components1
Fisheries & the Framework Components

3. Peace and Security

  • Maritime security
  • “Leaky borders” (piracy, smuggling)
  • Conflict and “fish wars”

4. Investing in People

  • Food security, nutrition, health (HIV/AIDS)
  • Rapid population growth
  • Loss of biodiversity and ecosystem health

5. Humanitarian Assistance

  • Vulnerability to disaster
small scale fisheries and us government leadership

Small-Scale Fisheries and US Government Leadership

A new fisheries initiative:




  • National
  • Regional
  • Global
national assistance overview
National Assistance Overview
  • Improve assessment capacity
  • Reform fisheries governance
  • Reduce excess fishing capacity and improve access management
  • Reduce IUU fishing
  • Develop human and institutional capacity
  • Build appropriate trade capacity
  • Conserve biodiversity for enhanced &

sustained productivity

national improve assessment capacity
National: Improve Assessment Capacity
  • Work with governments to conduct national assessment of small-scale fisheries leading to national fisheries and development plans
    • Assess characteristics and state of fishers and fisheries, socio-economics & gender analysis, current policies, etc.
    • Use information as platform for developing appropriate policies and monitoring change over time
national reform fisheries governance
National:Reform Fisheries Governance

Changing the mindset:

  • Acknowledge overfishing & build political and public will for reform
  • Moving from production orientation to sustainable management
  • Manage access
  • Manage different types of fisheries in an integrated manner, especially for shared stocks
national reform fisheries governance1
National:Reform Fisheries Governance
  • Encourage transparency and accountability
  • Reduce corruption
  • Promote co-management including women and minorities
  • Sustainable fisheries concept encoded in law
  • Integrate fisheries with other sectors and planning processes
  • Build alliances with private sector & other partners
  • Adaptive management
national reduce excess fishing capacity
National: Reduce excess fishing capacity
  • National and local plans of action
  • Managing access to fisheries resources
  • Alternative livelihoods to support transition out of fishery sector
national develop human and institutional capacity
National: Develop Human and Institutional Capacity
  • Developing champions for sustainable fisheries within government
    • Reform fisheries education
    • Create lifelong learning opportunities for government policy makers and technicians, both women and men
  • Institutional reform
national build appropriate trade capacity
National:Build Appropriate Trade Capacity
  • Improve phyto-sanitary measures
  • Increase value of fisheries products via processing, improving value chains, increasing competitiveness
  • Engaging women traders in market and trade reforms
  • Ensure that international trade does not undermine local food security
national conserve biodiversity for enhanced sustained productivity
National:Conserve biodiversity for enhanced & sustained productivity
  • Mainstream conservation policies
  • Maintaining ecosystem health and functions
  • Move toward ecosystem-based management as appropriate
example the philippines
Example: The Philippines


  • Increased fish stocks through ecosystem-based fisheries management
  • Tools:
    • Fishing effort regulation
    • Marine protected area networks
    • Monitoring (scientific & participatory); progress metrics
    • Improved enforcement
  • Next steps:
    • Regional scaling up
    • National educational program
example nicaragua honduras
Example: Nicaragua/Honduras
  • Reform of spiny lobster & conch fisheries
  • Create public-private sector alliance (governments, restaurant chains, importers and exporters, NGOs, foundations)
  • Consider moving toward certification scheme
  • Link to US-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)
  • Regional workshops for donor coordination and sharing lessons learned
  • Transboundary fisheries management
global alliance development
Global: Alliance Development
  • Energize donor interest in small-scale fisheries
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Two emerging alliances:
    • PROFISH/World Bank
    • Resilient Small-Scale Fisheries Campaign/World Fish Center
usg leadership presidential initiative
USG Leadership:Presidential Initiative
  • Justification: US Commission of Ocean Policy and US Administrative Response called for leadership on sustainable fisheries
  • Build from globally recognized USG leadership in:
    • Integrated approaches
    • Capacity development
    • Integrated science
    • Improving governance
  • Build coalition around secure fishing communities and sustainability