Illuminating Hidden Harvests: The Global and Local Contributions and Impacts of Small-scale Fisheries to Sustainable Development


"Small-scale fisheries (SSF) contribute substantially to household, local and national economies. In developing countries, they produce almost as much fish for direct domestic consumption as large-scale fisheries, and most of this is consumed locally in rural settings where poverty rates are high and quality nutrition is needed. More people work in SSF than in all other sectors combined, and inland fisheries support even more men and women fishers, processors and sellers than do marine systems. However, due to the highly complex, diverse and dispersed nature of SSF, quantifying and understanding their many contributions is difficult. In most cases, fisheries accounting occurs at the national level, which often overlooks the local importance of SSF to the coastal communities that heavily depend on them. Large-scale fisheries have been the target of considerable management efforts because of their concentrated and largely urban base, and their visibility as an important earner of foreign exchange. As a result, SSF are too frequently marginalized in political processes and not given due attention in policy. The present study revisits and builds on previous studies to capture the hidden contributions of SSF, encompassing the pre-harvesting, harvesting and post-harvesting sectors of inland and marine fisheries. The design of the new study uses a multi-scalar approach for the study the importance of SSF at the global scale while also taking a closer look at the nuances that make SSF so important at local and sub-national scales."