Fisher Voices, IYAFA 2022 Webinars

The SSF Hub is focused on the following topics for its regional webinars: Women & Gender in Small-Scale Fisheries; Small-Scale Fisheries Governance; Small-Scale Fisheries as Part of the Blue Economy. These themes were identified by small-scale fishers and members of the small-scale fisheries movement and encompass the Pillars of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022) and the sections of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF Guidelines). 


Women & Gender in Small-Scale Fisheries 

March 22, 2022

Womens’ contributions to small-scale fisheries and aquaculture is frequently overlooked and underrecognized by local and national governments, policy-makers, and community officials. 45 million women participate in small-scale fisheries operations globally, which constitutes greater than 40% of the fisheries workforce. Women are involved in all aspects of the fisheries sector and play important roles in the direct fishing, processing, marketing, and conservation of natural resources, while also maintaining their family and household responsibilities. Women also stand to benefit disproportionately from fisheries, as the contribution of aquatic foods to vulnerable communities’ food security and nutrient intakes are particularly important for womens’ health and child development. Despite the important role that women play in small-scale fishery operations and the benefits of aquatic foods to womens’ and childrens’ health, women are overrepresented in fisheries and labor but are underrepresented in governance and therefore face many barriers to meaningful participation.


Tasnur Begum | Bangladesh 

She is a fisher community leader and a member of UJS (Union Jono Shangaton) committee, which is a Union People's Organization (an informal body of women fishers) She is the micro finance participant of COAST Foundation. Being a member of the committee she inspires women for their basic rights and motivates them for alternative income generating activities to be self-reliant.

Raveendran Priya | Sri Lanka

Priya is a mother with three children, surviving with daily earnings through dry fish production, small-scale fishing and earning around 10,000 -20,000 LKR which is 50 -100 USD average. She belongs to Poonthalir Women Organization of Jaffna district which organizes, mobilizes and empowers women-headed households in the area. She is an active leader who works for reconciliation and a peaceful country.

Suphaphon Phannarai | Thailand

Miss Suphaphon Phannarai is the president of the Association of Southern Women Fishers where she works on conserving marine and coastal resources. She is a leading female leader in the SSF movement in the country; activating the community rights of small-scale fishers at the policy level.

This webinar was moderated by Dr. Ujjaini Halim and organized in partnership with Sustainable Development Foundation (SDF)National Fisheries Solidarity Organization (NAFSO), and the COAST Foundation


Small-Scale Fisheries Governance & Tenure

February 16, 2023

There are several examples of how governance in the artisanal fishing sector could work with greater participation from fishers in management, such as through co-management. The new Ibero-American Network for Small-Scale Artisanal Fishing (Ripape) was established in 2022 with the objective of "providing a space to strengthen and support artisanal fishing organizations, promoting reflection and exchange of experiences, which allow responding to the main challenges we face”. There are successful examples of governance in several of the member countries of the Ripape network and this webinar provides an opportunity to give visibility to this new network and the work they are doing in participating countries from the Pacific to the Caribbean and the Atlantic, in Latin America and Europe. The webinar also presented an opportunity to hear the point of view of the fishing sector on the possibilities, challenges and vision of the future to improve governance in the artisanal fishing sector.

The recording is also available in English, French, and Portuguese here

Speakers included: 

  • Hugo Martins, Quarpesca, Portugal
  • Flavio Lontro, Confrem, Brasil
  • Zoila Bustamante, ULAPA y Conapach, Chile
  • Gabriela Cruz, Federación Nacional De Cooperativas Pesqueras Del Ecuador
  • Jose Luis Carrillo Galaz, Conmecoop, México
Learn more about Ripape here 


Small-Scale Fisheries as Part of the Blue Economy

April 2023 


This webinar is available in Bengali, English, Tamil, Thai (Coming soon)

Blue economy agendas focus on sustainably leveraging oceanic resources for economic growth and include sustainable fishing, aquaculture, marine transport/infrastructure, offshore wind, and tourism.  Blue agendas’ industrial emphasis neglects the role of small-scale fisheries in sustainable development. As a result, small-scale fisheries and their aquaculture operations are subtly and overtly displaced in favor of larger scale economic and environmental conservation interests, endangering the livelihoods, food security, and nutrition of millions of people. 

Small-scale fisheries are an integral part of the ocean economy, fueling nearly a quarter of global fish consumption, employing 44 percent of individuals directly engaged in fishing, and  generating an average annual revenue of 77 billion USD from the first sale of catch. Small-scale fisheries create additional livelihoods through fishing gear maintenance, food processing, and induced economic activity. Small-scale fisheries also provide important non-monetary contributions to communities such as self-identity, kinship, household, and community linkages. Despite their economic and non-economic contributions, fishers and fishing communities have yet to secure adequate social protections and rights as well as meaningful representation in blue economy discussions. 


Mujibul Haque Munir | COAST Foundation, Bangladesh 

Mr. Munir is the Joint Director of COAST Foundation, Bangladesh. He has about twelve years experience of work in the development sector, especially in the field of program management, youth empowerment, development communication, campaign and policy advocacy, research, program planning and monitoring, writing reports, publication, communication, stakeholder relation, and project management. He is now in charge of the humanitarian response projects of the COAST Trust. Mr. Munir  is the Co-Chair of the Inland Fisheries Working Group of the World Forum of Fisher People (WFFP). He is also one of the Steering Committee Members of the Farmers Forum (FAFO) of the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD) and Member of the Steering Committee of the UN International Year of the Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture. 

Thadsa Thavachselvam | NAFSO, Sri Lanka

Thadsa has been working with the National Fisheries Solidarity Organization (NAFSO), Sri Lanka for 5 years as an activist. Before joining NAFSO, she worked as a youth volunteer with the Youth Movement for Environment and Social Change (YMESOC). Currently, she is pursuing a high national diploma in accounting as a 3rd year student at the Accounting Technical Institute.(ATI) in Jaffna. She is engaged in several fisheries, field-based research projects, including Point Pedro Fishery Harbour project: Ocean Grabbing in the context of Blue economy. As a young activist, she is organising and mobilising a 120 member youth group in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

Ravadee Prasertcharoensuk | SDF, Thailand

Ravadee has an educational background in social administration, community development, and human rights.  She has worked in the development field since her graduation in 1975, until now.  At present, she holds a position as the director of Sustainable Development Foundation (SDF). SDF is a rights-based environmental non-government organization promoting for inclusive development, governance, people-centered customary rights on ecosystem-based sustainable natural resource management. She has direct working experience demonstrating gender mainstreaming multi-stakeholder participation in ecosystem-based fishery and habitat management, promoting and advocating for putting the SSF Guidelines into action in the field as well as at the national policy development level. She also works to strengthen SSF networking as well as capacity building for the SSF movement to play active role advocating for SSF/women customary rights with SSF network throughout the country of Thailand. 


This webinar was organized in partnership with the COAST FoundationNational Fisheries Solidarity Organization (NAFSO), and the Sustainable Development Foundation (SDF)



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