The majority of the worlds fisheries are small-scale. They employ millions of people - men and women, providing them with income, jobs and livelihoods, make significant contribution to local and national food security, and are integral to the social fabric, cultural identity and heritage of many coastal communities around the world. In recent years, the values of small-scale fisheries have increased with the increased public awareness about the benefit of locally sourced and sustainable seafood and the growing interest on cultural or experience-based tourism. Small-scale fisheries are clearly not only too big to ignore but are also too important to fail. The importance of small-scale fisheries has been promoted in the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines). Yet, the current discourse about Blue Growth/Blue Economy poses potential risks to the rights of small-scale fisheries to the fishing livelihoods, which include access to fisheries resources, to coastal and ocean space, and to local, national and international markets. As the largest research partnership on small-scale fisheries, Too Big To Ignore (TBTI) is committed to rectify the inconsistency between the development agenda and Target SDG14b through Blue Justice for Small-Scale Fisheries program. TBTI has developed the online information system (ISSF), conducted in-depth research and built capacity that helps elevate the profile of small-scale fisheries, enhance values, improve viability, reduce vulnerability, address key concerns affecting fisheries sustainability, and argue against marginalization of small-scale fisheries in policies and governance. For Blue Justice for Small-Scale Fisheries, TBTI is committed to:
- Share stories and case studies that illustrate how policies, decisions and development agenda affect access and rights of small-scale fisheries and challenge social justice principles
- Facilitate science-policy dialogue to recognize the rights, values and concerns of small-scale fisheries in the discussion about sustainable development at all levels
- Build transdisciplinary capacity among governments and non-governmental organizations, researchers and community of practices to improve governance of small-scale fisheries, for fisheries sustainability worldwide.