Technical and socio-economic characteristics of small-scale coastal fishing communities, and opportunities for poverty alleviation and empowerment

  • 31/05/2016
  • FAO

The document provides an overview of the situation that small-scale fishers in developing countries face in terms of: financial and economic performance of fishery enterprises; vulnerabilities and poverty; adaptations to a changing environment including, climate variability and change; and access to technology, infrastructure, financial services and social protection schemes. It also gives due attention to the role of women and gender equality in small-scale fisheries (SSFs). The document also discusses SSF issues in a few selected developed countries, states and provinces in order to compare similar issues of importance in SSFs in developed and developing countries and to examine whether something can be learned from the comparison. Most of the studies reviewed show that SSFs are generally profitable. However, many of the studies also point out that this does not mean that the earnings from fishing alone are sufficient to sustain households at a level above the poverty line or above a country’s minimum wage level. Studies found that, particularly during bad fishing seasons and poor catches, households are very dependent on income from non-fishery-related activities and on government assistance.