A Panel Discussion on Future Proofing Small Scale Fisheries (SSF): Innovations in Fishing to Enhance Contribution of SSF to Food Security held on 16th February 2023 at the side-lines of the WGFTFB23. Delegates from fisheries ministries/ departments and institutions from the region, FAO and ICES attended.
Welcoming the delegates, Dr. P. Krishnan, Director, BOBP-IGO highlighted the need for a modern small-scale fisheries (SSF) sector that retains the characteristics of the traditional SSF sector while addressing issues such as low productivity, falling production, and labour concerns. Mr. Jon Lansley, Fisheries Industry Officer, FAO drew attention to the Voluntary Guideline on SSF and Dr Daniel Stepputis, Co-Chair, WGFTFB23 delineated the difference in perception of people about the fisheries and reaching a common ground. Mr Sebastian Mathew from ICSF advocated adopting a standard definition for SSF and considering a metier (Characteristics)-based approach. Dr. Shiham Adam, Director, IPNLF-Maldives ,and Prof. Oscar Amarasinghe, VC, Ocean University, Sri Lanka traced the fisheries development and lessons learned in their respective countries. Dr. BK Das, Director, CIFRI made a presentation on Inland Fisheries issues.
The conference also discussed the possibility of designating fishing zones for the conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity. Overall, the conference aimed to raise awareness about sustainable fishing practices and the need to create a modern SSF sector capable of standing up to future challenges.