Briefing Paper

The Case for Supporting Small-Scale Fisheries Governance Through ICT

Small-scale fisheries (SSFs) are an indispensable component of the fisheries sector, especially in developing nations. These fisheries face a variety of challenges, however, which have serious environmental, social and economic effects. This is often compounded by a lack of data required for governance decisions, the disempowerment and exclusion of fishery workers, and poor communication between actors in the value chain. Advances in information and communications technology (ICT) offer a variety of new tools for intervention, particularly in terms of data collection, validation and analysis, as well as present opportunities to connect separated actors. It is recommended that using ICT tools for SSF interventions allows for a process of inclusive, bottom-up co-development with fishery workers to be followed in order to utilise their knowledge and local presence for data enhancement; provide them with tailored and valuable solutions; include them in decision-making and management; and empower them in market transactions.