Let us Proudly Commemorate International Year of Small Scale Fisheries & Aquiculture - 2022

WFF and WFFP Statement on the SDGs and the UN’s Ocean Conference

4 June 2017

We call upon the UN member-states to work with the small-scale fisher peoples movements towards the implementation of the International Guidelines on Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries (SSF guidelines).

At its 32nd session in July 2016, the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) of the FAO unanimously adopted the Global Strategic Framework (GSF) to facilitate the implementation of the SSF guidelines. The GSF aims at facilitating interaction between governments and civil society to support the implementation of the SSF Guidelines at all levels.

We remain committed towards working with FAO on the further development of the GSF in order to advance the key principles of the SSF guidelines, with emphasis on the human rights based approach to small-scale fisheries.

Goal 14 of the SDGs is formulated as: ‘Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development’. A key question in that regard relates to what ‘conserve and sustainable use’ means – with a whole series of following questions including: who should have what rights? To which natural resources? For how long? For what purpose(s)? And, crucially, who gets to decide? One of the targets for SDG14 is the expansion of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This is despite the controversial nature of marine and coastal conservation approaches, which recently have been characterized as an increasingly “protectionist, authoritarian and violently repressive practice of conservation”.

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