A Blue Ventures case study on the first Mozambique to Madagascar fisher learning exchange in the Velondriake Locally Managed Marine Area in 2015 has now been published in a new good practice guide by the FAO.
This document includes eight studies showcasing good practices in support of sustainable small-scale fisheries. FAO commissioned these studies aiming to share experiences and promote the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines). The case studies were also intended to promote participatory approaches – in line with the SSF Guidelines principles – and to promote increased interaction between research and fishing communities, including the use of traditional knowledge and participatory research. It is hoped that the case studies will inform policy and policy processes and, in this way, promote sustainable small-scale fisheries according to the SSF Guidelines and the human rights-based approach to development (HRBA). The case studies constitute a rich selection of experiences and are diverse, not only with regard to their geographical setting but also in scope and approach. They span from looking at one specific tool for sharing experiences (the fisheries learning exchanges methodology in Madagascar and Mozambique) or examining the enabling environment in a specific thematic area (disaster risks in Bangladesh), to regional policy formulation on small-scale fisheries (the SSF Guidelines protocol for Caribbean policies) and reflection on how to use the SSF Guidelines in participatory processes (the Myanmar step-by-step approach to discussions with small-scale fisheries communities). A few of the papers look at co-management, in some cases combining fisheries management and social development (Senegal, Uruguay and Nepal), with one focusing on the role of small-scale fisheries and community organizations (India). Generally, the case studies refer to HRBA but, perhaps because many of the activities have taken place in the past, it seems that HRBA has rarely been consciously and explicitly implemented. Still, the case studies bear witness to a number of experiences and practices that are clearly steps in the right direction. Key good practices emerging from the studies refer to, among other things, holistic approaches to co-management and social responsibility; broad engagement, inclusiveness and partnerships; the power of communication; and gender equality and the role of women. As more experience is gained, our knowledge of how to go about implementing the SSF Guidelines will improve and nurture new and continued initiatives. For the present and the future, efforts should be made to apply HRBA, while continuing to share experiences and good practices showing how to do so when implementing the SSF Guidelines.