Towards the implementation of the SSF guidelines in South Asia. Proceedings of the South Asia FAO-BOBLME Regional Consultation on the implementation of the voluntary guidelines for securing sustainable small-scale fisheries in the context of food security and poverty eradication, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 23-26 November, 2015.

Published online
23 May 2018
Content type
Bulletin; Conference proceedings

Franz, N. & Poulain, F. & Westlund, L.

Publication language
Sri Lanka & Bangladesh & India & Indonesia & Maldives & South Asia


Following the endorsement of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines) by the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) in June 2014, and in line with paragraph 13.6 of the document itself referring to promoting the development of regional plans of action, a regional workshop was held in South Asia to discuss the implementation of the SSF Guidelines. The South Asia FAO-BOBLME Regional Consultation on the Implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 23 to 26 November 2015. It was organized by the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department in partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of Sri Lanka, with financial support from the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) Project and the Government of Norway. The workshop was attended by a total of 49 participants from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Maldives and Sri Lanka, including representatives of governments, regional and international organizations, fisherfolk organizations, civil society organization (CSOs), NGOs, academia and other relevant actors, as well as FAO staff and resource persons. The overall objective of the workshop was to raise awareness and support the implementation of the SSF Guidelines in the region. The workshop noted that small-scale fisheries contribute to livelihoods, food security, and local and regional economies across the region. There are encouraging developments in the region concerning legal reforms, strengthening participation of small-scale fisheries actors and co-management approaches. On the other hand, many challenges persist, including heavily exploited fishery resources in coastal areas, poor infrastructure facilities and services, increased risks from disasters and climate change, competition from other sectors, and the insufficient operationalization of fisheries management plans and institutionalization of the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) in national fisheries governance frameworks. There is therefore a strong need to move from theory to practice and to link policy to actions, in the spirit of the SSF Guidelines.

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