Is the blue justice concept a human rights agenda?

Published online
05 Jun 2020
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Isaacs, M.
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Africa South of Sahara & Tanzania & South Africa


What is Blue Justice? This concept is situated in social justice for small-scale fisheries (SSFs) - a narrative popular with civil society movements and academics to garner support for the adoption and implementation of the UN-FAO SSF guidelines and Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of National Food Security (VGGT). Through the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM), SSFs are aligned with land, tenure, and food movements. Blue Justice is contesting that the ocean, coasts, lakes and protected spaces is about creating an enabling an environment for small-scale fisheries to engage meaningfully, and to challenge their exclusion and marginalisation which is brought about by the privatisation of oceans, the promotion of elite tourism, and fortress-conservation by the Blue Economy via the SDGs and rights-based fishing. Blue Justice is also a call for research to form a collaboration with civil society movements, NGOs, and practitioners to challenge these spaces and narratives.

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