Small-scale fisheries make vital contributions to nutrition, culture, food security, and livelihoods for millions of people across the globe. They also face considerable pressures related to ecological degradation, privatization, and top-down decision-making. The challenges facing small scale fisheries are deeply tied to the systemic inequities and sustainability challenges posed by the dominant global food system which is driven by capitalism and settler colonialism. On the ground, small-scale fishers and farmers have begun to mobilize in response to these shared challenges. This is evident in social movements for food sovereignty and agroecology led by small-scale farmers, fishers, Indigenous peoples, and workers, among others. While considerable scholarly attention has been devoted to the efforts of peasant farmers and farming communities, much less attention has been paid to understanding the struggles and efforts of small-scale fishers, fish workers, and fishing communities within these social movements.
In this context, this Research Topic aims to examine the expressions and dynamics of community and social movement organizing towards justice and sustainability within small-scale fishing communities across the Global North and South. In so doing, we hope to further understand and advance collective action on sustainable development, social and environmental justice, and movements and mobilization while also considering more broadly how an analysis of social movements pertaining to food systems transformation may be enhanced by greater attention to the politics and governance of small-scale fishing communities.
We seek empirical, theoretical, and methodological pieces exploring these connections. Particular questions of interest include:
● What efforts are taking place within small scale fishing communities in pursuit of food sovereignty, agroecology, and sustainable food systems more broadly?
● What resources (e.g., knowledge, institutions) exist within small-scale fisheries in different contexts to support food sovereignty and agroecology? How might institutions and governance better support these aims and what are the tensions and barriers?
● How do processes of exclusion in the global food system (e.g., industrialization, capitalism, settler colonialism) link small-scale fishers, farmers, and food chain workers? (e.g. forms of enclosure such as ocean and land grabbing, blue and green economy)
● What methodological approaches are best suited to exploring these questions and enhancing these movements?