Small scale fisheries : an elusive concept

A few days I cam across an interesting blog titled "Shifting baselines" run by Jennifer L. Jacquet. The blog included a post on fisheries and subsidies to "small-scale" fisheries with a reference to a paper by her and Daniel Pauly titled "Funding Priorities: Big Barriers to Small-Scale Fisheries" published in the journal Conservation Biology.

With regard to definition of "small-scale fisheries" the paper states: "Although they are often described as very variable between countries, small-scale fisheries are characterized as fishers operating in boats of 15 m or less, or without boats".

It is interesting to see that the authors draw the line at the aformentioned figure. When looking to the WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies, it is also interesting to see that there is no agreement at all on what small-scale fisheries are, not the least on the length of the vessels.

The WTO Secretariat compiled a document titled "Definitions Related to Artisanal, Small-Scale and Subsistence Fishing" WTO ref. TN/RL/W/197 of 24 November 2005. This document is useful as it show how diverse, and by times contradictory, are the defintions used to circumscribe "small scale" fisheries.

Herunder is the link to the post in "Shifting Baselines":


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