Situating human rights in the context of fishing rights: Contributions and contradictions

Human rights have become a salient topic in fisheries governance. This paper clarifies key terms involved in a human rights-based approach as they pertain to fishing rights. Four conceptual tension between human rights and fishing rights are discussed. Understanding such contradictions will be important for mitigating shortcomings in practice. The authors offer a way forward to inform future implementation of human rights in the context of fishing rights allocation.

Our Ocean 2019

The ocean is essential to life on earth. For humans, it provides food, jobs, energy and communication highways. The ocean helps regulate our climate, controls weather patterns and produces oxygen for us to breathe. However, today the ocean is under threat from the effects of climate change, over-fishing, pollution and loss of biodiversity. Safeguarding the ocean for future generations is a shared responsibility and a matter of global urgency.

Special events: 2nd Expert Group Meeting

High-level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy

The 2nd Expert Group Meeting which will take place in Abu Dhabi is a unique group of world leaders committed to developing, catalyzing and supporting solutions for ocean health and wealth in policy, governance, technology and finance.

WorldFish Honorary Fellow Eddie Allison has been invited to join the 2nd Expert Group Meeting of the High-level Panel.

Strengthening and scaling community-based approaches to Pacific coastal fisheries management in support of the New Song

In the small island developing states of the Pacific, catching, trading and eating fish are central to the way of life and local and national economies. Local and external pressures on marine resources, and high reliance on fisheries as a livelihood, mean that improving and sustaining fisheries benefits is a key pathway to improve human wellbeing and contribute to food and nutrition security. This project aims to improve the wellbeing of Pacific coastal communities through more resilient fisheries as a foundation. The project contributes to the Pacific Community's New Song strategy, which calls for a stronger, co-ordinated approach to developing and managing coastal fisheries. The project aims to: (1) strengthen Pacific institutions to implement the New Song for coastal fisheries; (2) improve and scale out CBFM in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu; (3) improve the opportunities, viability and performance of livelihoods in support of CBFM initiatives; (4) increase social and gender equity in coastal fisheries governance, utilization and benefit distribution; and (5) promote food and nutrition security in the Pacific food system through improved management and use of fish. The project builds on community-based management and multi-level governance efforts in preceding projects led by WorldFish with national and regional partners.

Global conference: Towards an inclusive blue economy

International Institute for Environmental and Development (IIED) will host an international event to discuss how to develop a marine economy that is fair and sustainable that will bring together ocean experts, policymakers, fisheries associations, business and civil society representatives and stakeholders to consider strategies for developing national economies that protect marine resources and people's livelihoods and make sure that the benefits of the ocean are shared equitably.

WorldFish HQ events: Multi-Stakeholder Information and Communication (MuSIC) Workshop

Small-scale fisheries, food security and wholesome nutrition: Understanding, appreciating and interrogating the linkages

Small-scale fisheries are the backbone of the marine and inland fisheries sector in Asia. However, the many millions of men and women involved in these small-scale activities of harvesting, processing and marketing continue to be faced with numerous challenges and fewer meaningful opportunities.

Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART)

In the Indian state of Assam, capture fisheries and aquaculture provide livelihoods for thousands of rural households, who are directly or indirectly involved in the production and marketing of fish. 

While the current average productivity in ponds is around 1,680 kg/ha/yr, beel fisheries produce less than 500 kg/ha/yr. This is far below the potential productivity as well as below the productivity achieved by other states, including Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. In addition, the quality of fish seed produced in the state is sub-standard because of inbreeding and use of undersized broodstock. The chronic shortage of fish feed also impedes farm productivity. 

The Government of Assam (GoA), through the Government of India, has received a loan of USD 200 million from the World Bank for implementation of the Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART). The project development objective (PDO) is to add value and improve resilience of selected agriculture value chains, focusing on smallholder farmers and agro-entrepreneurs in targeted districts of Assam. Fish has been prioritized as one of the value chains for interventions under APART.

Objectives

WorldFish will provide technical support to the Directorate of Fisheries in the implementation of the project's fisheries sub-component. In line with the PDO, the technical support aims to accomplish the following five broad objectives:

  • Enable sustainable increases in aquaculture production without creating adverse socioeconomic or environmental impacts (sustainable intensification of aquaculture);
  • Secure and enhance the contribution of small-scale fisheries to food security in Assam (increasing the diversity and productivity of beels);
  • Increase the availability, access and consumption of nutrient-rich, safe fish, especially for women of reproductive age, infants and young children (improving fish value chains and human nutrition);
  • Develop and promote climate-resilient technologies in support of sustainable aquaculture and small-scale fisheries (climate -resilient/climate-smart aquaculture technologies);
  • Promote gender-transformative approaches in support of sustainable aquaculture and beel fisheries in Assam (gender-transformative approaches in aquaculture).

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