International

 

Legal frameworks that recognize small-scale and artisanal fisheries/fishers

  • 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
  • 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • 1995 United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement (UNFSA)
  • 1995 FAO Code of Conduct on Responsible Fisheries (CCRF)
  • 2007 ILO's  Work in Fishing Convention 
  • 2011 Land Tenure Guidelines
  • 2012 The Future We Want

1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

Article 61

Conservation of the living resources

3. Such measures shall also be designed to maintain or restore populations of harvested species at levels which can produce the maximum sustainable yield, as qualified by relevant environmental and economic factors, including the economic needs of coastal fishing communities and the special requirements of developing States, and taking into account fishing patterns, the interdependence of stocks and any generally recommended international minimum standards, whether subregional, regional or global.

 

Article73

Enforcement of laws and regulations of the coastal State

1. The coastal State may, in the exercise of its sovereign rights to explore, exploit, conserve and manage the living resources in the exclusive economic zone, take such measures, including boarding, inspection, arrest and judicial proceedings, as may be necessary to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations adopted by it in conformity with this Convention.

2. Arrested vessels and their crews shall be promptly released upon the posting of reasonable bond or other security.

3. Coastal State penalties for violations of fisheries laws and regulations in the exclusive economic zone may not include imprisonment, in the absence of agreements to the contrary by the States concerned, or any other form of corporal punishment.

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1992 Convention on Biological Diversity

Programme of Work on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity (Decision VII/5 - 2004)

National Framework of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas

27. Agrees that the full participation of indigenous and local communities and relevant stakeholders is important for achieving the global goal, and for the establishment and maintenance of individual marine and coastal protected areas and national and regional networks in line with decision VII/28 on protected areas;

Annex I- Elaborated programme of work on marine and coastal biodiversity 

II. Basic principles
4. In accordance with paragraphs 2-14 of the annex to decision IV/5, the ecosystem approach and the precautionary approach have a central role in guiding all activities undertaken as part of the programme of work, and thus provide the foundation for its implementation. The success of the programme of work also relies on scientific research aimed at providing understanding of the functioning of the broader ecosystem in terms of its component parts and their connectivity. Research efforts oriented towards the information needs of management ensure that management decisions are based on best available science in the context of the precautionary approach. The roster of experts continues to provide the Executive Secretary with a valuable source of expertise in marine and coastal biological diversity, and its continued use, expansion and updating is encouraged. The programme of work will also use and draw upon scientific, technical and technological knowledge of local and indigenous communities in keeping with the contents of Article 8(j) of the Convention, as well as community and user-based approaches.

7. The implementation of the programme of work should be carried out with the full and effective participation of indigenous and local communities as appropriate and respect of their rights under domestic and applicable international law. In this context, Article 6.18 of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, which highlights the need to protect the preferential access rights of fishers and fishworkers, particularly those engaged in subsistence, small-scale and artisanal fisheries, to traditional fishing grounds and resources, should be noted.

8.   In accordance with the Millennium Development Goals, the implementation of the programme of work aims to make a direct contribution to poverty alleviation. Its successful implementation will require national and regional capacity-building and financial resources for developing country Parties, in particular the least developed and small island developing States among them.

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AGREEMENT FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA OF 10 DECEMBER 1982 RELATING TO THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF STRADDLING FISH STOCKS AND HIGHLY MIGRATORY FISH STOCKS (UNITED NATIONS FISH STOCKS AGREEMENT - UNFSA), 1995

PART II

CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF STRADDLING FISH STOCKS
AND HIGHLY MIGRATORY FISH STOCKS

Article 5

General principles

In order to conserve and manage straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks, coastal States and States fishing on the high seas shall, in giving effect to their duty to cooperate in accordance with the Convention:

(i) take into account the interests of artisanal and subsistence fishers;

 

PART VII

REQUIREMENTS OF DEVELOPING STATES

Article 24

Recognition of the special requirements of developing States

2. In giving effect to the duty to cooperate in the establishment of conservation and management measures for straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks, States shall take into account the special requirements of developing States, in particular:

(b) the need to avoid adverse impacts on, and ensure access to fisheries by, subsistence, small-scale and artisanal fishers and women fishworkers, as well as indigenous people in developing States, particularly small island developing States; and

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1995 FAO Code of Conduct on Responsible Fisheries

6 - GENERAL PRINCIPLES

6.13 States should, to the extent permitted by national laws and regulations, ensure that decision making processes are transparent and achieve timely solutions to urgent matters. States, in accordance with appropriate procedures, should facilitate consultation and the effective participation of industry, fishworkers, environmental and other interested organizations in decision making with respect to the development of laws and policies related to fisheries management, development, international lending and aid.

6.16 States, recognising the paramount importance to fishers and fishfarmers of understanding the conservation and management of the fishery resources on which they depend, should promote awareness of responsible fisheries through education and training. They should ensure that fishers and fishfarmers are involved in the policy formulation and implementation process, also with a view to facilitating the implementation of the Code.

6.18 Recognizing the important contributions of artisanal and small- scale fisheries to employment, income and food security, States should appropriately protect the rights of fishers and fishworkers, particularly those engaged in subsistence, small-scale and artisanal fisheries, to a secure and just livelihood, as well as preferential access, where appropriate, to traditional fishing grounds and resources in the waters under their national jurisdiction.

7 - FISHERIES MANAGEMENT

7.2 Management objectives


7.2.1 Recognizing that long-term sustainable use of fisheries resources is the overriding objective of conservation and management, States and subregional or regional fisheries management organizations and arrangements should, inter alia, adopt appropriate measures, based on the best scientific evidence available, which are designed to maintain or restore stocks at levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield, as qualified by relevant environmental and economic factors, including the special requirements of developing countries.

7.2.2 Such measures should provide inter alia that:

  1. excess fishing capacity is avoided and exploitation of the stocks remains economically viable;
  2. the economic conditions under which fishing industries operate promote responsible fisheries;
  3. the interests of fishers, including those engaged in subsistence, small-scale and artisanal fisheries, are taken into account;
  4. biodiversity of aquatic habitats and ecosystems is conserved and endangered species are protected;
  5. depleted stocks are allowed to recover or, where appropriate, are actively restored;
  6. adverse environmental impacts on the resources from human activities are assessed and, where appropriate, corrected; and 
  7. pollution, waste, discards, catch by lost or abandoned gear, catch of non-target species, both fish and non- fish species, and impacts on associated or dependent species are minimized, through measures including, to the extent practicable, the development and use of selective, environmentally safe and cost-effective fishing gear and techniques.

 

7.6 Management measures


7.6.6 When deciding on the use, conservation and management of fisheries resources, due recognition should be given, as appropriate, in accordance with national laws and regulations, to the traditional practices, needs and interests of indigenous people and local fishing communities which are highly dependent on fishery resources for their livelihood.

ARTICLE 9- AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT

9.1.4 States should ensure that the livelihoods of local communities, and their access to fishing grounds, are not negatively affected by aquaculture developments.

ARTICLE 10 - INTEGRATION OF FISHERIES INTO COASTAL AREA MANAGEMENT

10.1.1 States should ensure that an appropriate policy, legal and institutional framework is adopted to achieve the sustainable and integrated use of the resources, taking into account the fragility of coastal ecosystems and the finite nature of their natural resources and the needs of coastal communities.

10.1.2 In view of the multiple uses of the coastal area, States should ensure that representatives of the fisheries sector and fishing communities are consulted in the decision-making processes and involved in other activities related to coastal area management planning and development.

11 - POST-HARVEST PRACTICES AND TRADE

11.2.7 States should not condition access to markets to access to resources. This principle does not preclude the possibility of fishing agreements between States which include provisions referring to access to resources, trade and access to markets, transfer of technology, scientific research, training and other relevant elements.

11.2.15 States, aid agencies, multilateral development banks and other relevant international organizations should ensure that their policies and practices related to the promotion of international fish trade and export production do not result in environmental degradation or adversely impact the nutritional rights and needs of people for whom fish is critical to their health and well being and for whom other comparable sources of food are not readily available or affordable.

12 - FISHERIES RESEARCH

12.12 States should investigate and document traditional fisheries knowledge and technologies, in particular those applied to small-scale fisheries, in order to assess their application to sustainable fisheries conservation, management and development

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Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security


1.2 These Guidelines seek to:

strengthen the capacities and operations of implementing agencies; judicial authorities; local governments; organizations of farmers and small-scale producers, of fishers, and of forest
users; pastoralists; indigenous peoples and other communities; civil society; private sector; academia; and all persons concerned with tenure governance as well as to promote the cooperation between the actors mentioned.

2.3 These Guidelines can be used by States; implementing agencies; judicial authorities; local governments; organizations of farmers and smallscale producers, of fishers, and of forest users; pastoralists; indigenous peoples and other communities; civil society; private sector; academia; and all persons concerned to assess tenure governance and identify
improvements and apply them.

4.8 Given that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, the governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests should not only take into account rights that are directly linked to access and use of land, fisheries and forests, but also all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. In doing so, States should respect and protect the civil
and political rights of defenders of human rights, including the human rights of peasants, indigenous peoples, fishers, pastoralists and rural workers, and should observe their human rights obligations when dealing with individuals and associations acting in defence of land, fisheries and forests.

5.3 States should ensure that policy, legal and organizational frameworks for tenure governance recognize and respect, in accordance with national laws, legitimate tenure rights including legitimate customary tenure rights that are not currently protected by law; and facilitate, promote and protect the exercise of tenure rights. Frameworks should reflect the social, cultural, economic and environmental significance of land, fisheries and forests. States should provide frameworks that are non-discriminatory and promote social equity and gender equality. Frameworks should reflect the interconnected relationships between land, fisheries and forests and their uses, and establish an integrated approach to their administration.

5.6 States should place responsibilities at levels of government that can most effectively deliver services to the people. States should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of agencies dealing with tenure of land, fisheries and forests. States should ensure coordination between implementing agencies, as well as with local governments, and indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems.

9.1 State and non-state actors should acknowledge that land, fisheries and forests have social, cultural, spiritual, economic, environmental and political value to indigenous peoples and other communities with customary tenure systems.

22.2 States and other parties should contribute to the understanding of transboundary tenure issues affecting communities, such as with rangelands or seasonal migration routes of pastoralists, and fishing grounds of small-scale fishers, which lie across international boundaries.

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The Future We Want (Rio plus 20)

Oceans and seas
158. We recognize that oceans, seas and coastal areas form an integrated and essential component of the Earth’s ecosystem and are critical to sustaining it, and that international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and their resources. We stress the importance of the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and seas and of their resources for sustainable development, including through their contributions to poverty eradication, sustained economic growth, food security and creation of sustainable livelihoods and decent work, while at the same time protecting biodiversity and the marine environment
and addressing the impacts of climate change. We therefore commit to protect, and restore, the health, productivity and resilience of oceans and marine ecosystems, and to maintain their biodiversity, enabling their conservation and sustainable use for present and future generations, and to effectively apply an ecosystem approach and the precautionary approach in the management, in accordance with international law, of activities having an impact on the marine environment, to deliver on all three dimensions of sustainable development.

174. We urge the identification and mainstreaming of strategies by 2014 that further assist developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing States, in developing their national capacity to conserve, sustainably manage and realize the benefits of sustainable fisheries, including through improved market access for fish products from developing countries.

175. We commit to observe the need to ensure access to fisheries and the importance of access to markets, by subsistence, small-scale and artisanal fisherfolk and women fish workers, as well as indigenous peoples and their communities, particularly in developing countries, especially small island developing States.

177. We reaffirm the importance of area-based conservation measures, including marine protected areas, consistent with international law and based on best available scientific information, as a tool for conservation of biological diversity and sustainable use of its components. We note decision X/2 of the tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, that by 2020 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are to be conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.