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Wednesday, June 26 • 15:00 - 16:30
Blue Justice for small-scale fisheries in the context of fishing opportunities and markets: A lens for SDG14b. (2)

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Chaired by: Said, A. & Pascual-Fernandez, J.

Blue Justice for small-scale fisheries in the context of fishing opportunities and markets: A lens for SDG14b
Alicia Said & Jose Pascual-Fernández
Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer & Universidad de La Laguna


The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has raised the profile of small-scale fisheries through SDG14b, a target that calls for the provision of ‘access of small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets’. Considered as /a historic moment for small-scale fisheries, their recognition in the SDGs is an important milestone that sets an important focus on how such target ought to be achieved. Reaching this milestone requires overhauls in governance structures and management systems that have traditionally favoured other segments of the fishing fleets, mainly industrial and large-scale fisheries supposedly more “efficient”. This is particularly relevant in the era of “Blue Growth” that in many of its formulations exclude fisheries, and particularly small-scale fisheries (SSF), privileging new sectors, potentially increasing the challenges for SSF. Hence, achieving access to fishing opportunities and markets, a.k.a. SDG14b, would require adjustments in resource governance and fisheries management systems in all sectors, and development programs that embed concepts like human rights, social justice and equity as key elements of what we refer to as Blue Justice. In this session, we seek to provide case studies from around the world to showcase the governance challenges and opportunities concerning the planned or accomplished implementation of SDG14b, along with lessons about the importance of focusing strongly on the issues and concerns related to SSF as we strive to achieve the overall SDGs. The session invites experts from different regions to bring together a global discussion on governance transformations in the broader picture to decipher challenges and inform new policies that bring about blue justice in ocean and resource governance.

A Sisyphean Task? The Danish Experience with Taming the ITQ System 2007-2018 
Troels J. Hegland, Kristen Ounanian, Mathilde Højrup Autzen & Jesper Raakjær

With a core objective of reducing overall capacity, starting in 2007 Denmark implemented a particular variation of ITQs in its demersal fisheries: the ‘vessel quota-share’ system. This paper provides a retrospective on the intentions of key provisions in the Danish market-based fisheries management system since its implementation in 2007 and discusses central themes of concern. Experiences (e.g. from Iceland and Alaska) have shown that structural adjustments following the transition to a market-based system can be particularly problematic for smaller vessels and associated communities. Recognizing these experiences with ITQs and aiming to get the best from the system while avoiding its worst side effects, the Danish vessel quota-share system included a number of provisions to curtail the consolidating effects of market-based management. These included a cap on concentration, a requirement that the fishing quota-shares follow the vessel, an ‘active fisherman’ requirement, and—last but not least—a particular scheme allocating extra shares for smaller vessels conducting near-shore fisheries. However, in recent years, evidence has mounted suggesting that the system has failed in taming the market; either because of the inherent dynamics of the system, due to insufficient curtailing provisions, or due to mismanagement of existing provisions (or these in combination). As a result, calls of concern from the public have emerged questioning the equity and distribution of fishing access and resultant wealth. A central question—relevant to other nations grappling with ITQs—is whether or how a system/scheme can exist in parallel to a ‘pure’ market-based management system. More concretely, how can authorities provide effective provisions for small-scale fishers within a system intended to consolidate the fleet in the name of economic efficiency? To answer these questions, data on the development of the fleet structure have been scrutinized, and relevant policy-documents and legislation have been reviewed together with external policy evaluations.


Licenses, permits, entitlements..! Oh my! Perceptions of right to fish from the Wash cockle shell fishermen
Gurpreet Padda

The notion of right to fish and fishing rights is a confusing one. Some consider fishing rights as a concept emanating from EU fishing quotas that are based on the principle of relative stability. These are sometimes referred to as entitlements. In contrast, within a coastal setting, right to fish may be described as a point of reference to explain, perhaps, individual fishermen being entitled to fish. Being entitled to fish is a perception that could be associated to totemic or ancestral links to a fishing license or permit. This example, when examined in the context of the Wash cockle shellfisheries, explains the importance clarifying emblematic associations especially when applying fairness to social dimensions as described in the Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (EIFCA) remit. In interviewing cockle shellfishermen in the Wash, F1 to F24, and referring to Government and EIFCA policy documents, this paper reveals the common misconceptions surrounding how licenses, permits and entitlements are understood by the locally based fishermen.


Transnational localism: Empowerment through Standard Setting in Small-scale Fisheries
Jerneja Penca

This article considers a range of tactics used by small-scale fisheries (SSFs) in Europe and North America to improve market access, political influence, and legal recognition. These initiatives can be framed not only as implementation practices that occur as a result of international governance signals (such as SDG 14b or the ‘blue growth’ paradigm), but also as bottom-up standard-setting and empowerment tactics by SSF. The article uses the case study of SSFs to draw attention to the rise of ‘transnational localism’. This is defined as the reinforcement of local-specific approaches (reflecting local ecologies, values, and socio-economic specificities) within a transnational structure that provides support and recognition. It offers an alternative to the view that globalization necessitates global, uniform regulatory solutions. Transnational localism challenges the fascination with large certification schemes such as that administered by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in fisheries governance. It implies a need to reconcile transnational challenges with heterogenous values and community approaches. To capture the simultaneous demand for the local and transnational within transnational law, this article proposes treating the described empowerment tactics within the scope of transnational standards. This requires a rethinking of standards away from technical, fixed rules that are uniformly applicable across the globe.



Wednesday June 26, 2019 15:00 - 16:30
REC A1.05 Roeters Eiland Complex, University of Amsterdam