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CSR: The Role of Small Scale Fisheries in Blue Economy

Small Scale Fisheries

Addressing the sustainability of blue economy is a matter of concern across the globe. Especially for India as the country is surrounded by sea from three sides. The health of the oceans and that of other marine species rely on this. The blue economy has been a conversation topic since a while now with understanding the impacted caused on it because of large-scale mining companies, the role of specialist marine security fleets, and the effect of plastic on marine wildlife. According to the International Institute for Environment and Development, small-scale fisheries and the people who work for them and with them, are central to the success and sustainability of the blue economy.

About 50% of seafood globally is supplied by small-scale fisheries. More than 90% of fishers are employed by small scale fisheries. The supply chains associated with small-scale fisheries provide a livelihood for millions of women. Despite this, the small-scale fisheries are often ignored when it comes to investment by government or the private sector.

Small scale fisheries have a low environmental impact. Recognising the value it serves to the national economy, Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture in the Maldives promotes one-by-one tuna fishing even in the global markets. Such encouragement from the government allows more employment opportunity to the local fishers and an attractive opportunity for the investors.

Once some progress is made, the investors can take advantage of lower risk to stimulate government and private funding. This could lead to stronger commitments to increase monitoring and enforcement of regulations. Once the confidence in these small fishing businesses increases, the policy tools that actively help them will also increase along with the environment for them to thrive – such as locally managed marine areas.

However, this cannot be accomplished by a single entity. Encouraging the men and women linked to fisheries to participate in the design, implementation and enforcement of policies is a better way to promote sustainable practices. Also, it is only fair for them to have their opinions considered for policies that concern them.

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The CSR Journal Team