The 2nd World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress (2WSFC) took place in Merida, Mexico, on September 21-25, 2014. These series of interactive discussions focused on exploring “Options and Opportunities for Small-Scale Fisheries,” through seven distinct themes:
- Economic Viability
- Livelihoods and Well Being
- Ecosystem Stewardship
- Rights and Access
- Food Security and Food Sovereignty
- Governance and Governability
- Assessment and Monitoring.
The congress was jointly organized and co-hosted by Professor Silvia Salas, CINVESTAV, Merida, Mexico, and Professor Ratana Chuenpagdee, Too Big To Ignore (TBTI) Project Director, Memorial University, St. John’s, Canada, along with many other local and international organizations. For more information, please visit: http://2wsfc.wordpress.com/
In an effort to connect fishermen so that they can exchange ideas and learn from each other’s experience, the Sea Delight Ocean Fund (SDOF) and CeDePesca sponsored the participation of Mr. Jose Rody Alvarado Milahuichun in this congress. Mr. Alvarado Milahuichun is the leader of the artisanal fishery for Southern hake (merluza austral) in Hualaihué, Chile. The SDOF and CeDePesca organized a meeting with the local fishermen on Monday, September 22, so that he could discuss his experience with utilizing a Régimen Artesanal de Extracción (R.A.E.).
The RAE is an artisanal quota system which consists of the distribution of the overall artisanal catch quota of a particular region, whether by area, vessel size, fishermen cooperatives or individual. The goal of this meeting was to better understand how artisanal quota system works in Chile and how it can be utilized by Mexican fishermen to address the issue of overfishing of red grouper and the potential benefits it would create as we move forward in the development of the Fishery Improvement Project for the Mexican Grouper Fishery.
We will also be recording a second presentation so that we can share Mr. Alvarado Milahuichun’s experience with a larger audience. More details will follow.
“One of the central lessons learned from this Congress is this: Direct involvement of fishermen enhances stewardship of Fishery Resources. As we continue to discuss topics such as economic gain vs. ecological preservation, creating and enforcement of regulations, and the implementation of a participatory fisheries management model, it’s imperative that we engage the fishermen as an active stakeholder and participant of this process. We must consider their livelihoods, as well as how these sustainability programs enhance or devalue their ability to provide for themselves and their families. Additionally, a global approach to collaboration is needed between nations to facilitate the management of shared stocks,” said Adriana Sanchez-Lindsay, Sea Delight’s Sustainability Coordinator and President of the Sea Delight Ocean Fund.