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Resilience of the Blue Economy Sustainable and Inclusive Fisheries

Resilience of the Blue Economy

Resilience of the Blue Economy

GOAL believes that sustainable fisheries are key to the future of global food security, climate change adaptation and poverty reduction. Why sustainable and inclusive fisheries? Marine-coastal areas, and in particular fisheries, are of increasing environmental, social and economic importance. By 2025, an estimated 75% of the world’s population will live in coastal zones; resulting in both significant development challenges as well as opportunities for coastal industries (such as fisheries) to drive economic growth, livelihood creation and conservation. Approximately 90% of fishers globally are small-scale or ‘artisan’ and are responsible for 50% of all catches. Small-scale fisheries are a critical source of employment, income, food security and nutrition, with 3 billion people relying on fish as an important source of protein. Regardless, poverty levels among fishing communities remain high due to weaknesses across the value chain and these economic challenges are exacerbated by a number of social and environmental ones as small scale fisheries have a tendency to be unmanaged and overfished and are highly susceptible to climate change. Nonetheless, evidence demonstrates that these trends can be reversed and blue growth provides enormous potential to improve fishers’ livelihoods, conserve marine coastal areas and ensure food security.

“GOAL’s work in fisheries supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in addition to responding to widely recognised global megatrends that pose significant development challenges and opportunities for social and economic change such as changing demographics, urbanisation, climate change, resource scarcity and technology.” GOAL, 2016

Our Approach: What is MiPesca? MiPesca is a strategy developed by GOAL with the aim of increasing the resilience of small scale fisheries in an attempt to reconcile and balance priorities between economic growth and conservation. The approach works towards developing a sustainable market system which is effective in reducing poverty and is resilient to shocks such as natural hazards (hurricanes, storm surges etc.) and stresses (such as climate change and conflict) in order to ensure equitable benefits for coastal communities.

Resilience of the Blue Economy

How is MiPesca Developed? One of the key steps of MiPesca is the completion of a comprehensive investigation to map out the key socio economic/market systems in order to understand how these system are functioning. A schematic representation of a typical small-scale fishery market system is demonstrated in the adjacent Figure. This is the first step in obtaining a high-level overview of the system. The system mapping exercise is important in order to identify all key system actors (from producers, intermediaries and buyers as well as supporting functions and the wider enabling environment) in addition to detecting the key constraints undermining the performance of the market system and the opportunities and feasibility of leveraging change. MiPesca has identified a number of key

Equipment Suppliers

constraints in small-scale fisheries

Boat and Equipment Repair Services

including: inadequate infrastructure, lack of capital (access to financial

Ice/Cold Chains

services), limited value addition due to

governance of natural resources leading to the “tragedy of the commons” including overfishing and habitat loss, limited adherence to market demand (food hygiene standards, stability of supply chains etc.) and poor market coordination and linkages.

Corporate Social Responsability Water and Sanitation Services

Transportation Services Financial Services Traceability System

Training in Good Fishing Practives

Scientific Investigation Marketing/Investigation Information

Input Suppliers (Salt,fuel,boats)


Electricity Market Players Coordination

Business development services (Tech. Assist.)

poor and non-existent extension and business development services, poor





MARKET Social Audit

Hygiene/ Food Safety Standards

Indigenous People´s Rights Protection

Regulation of Fishery Resources

Sea Surveillance

Merchant Marine Licensing

Tax Regulations

Impot/Export Regulations

Fisher´s Associations/ Cooperatives

Labour Law

Regulation of Biodiversity and Natural Resources

Early Warning System/ DRR

Regulation of Forestry Resources and Protected Areas


The ‘MiPesca’ fisheries strategy recognises the importance and value of small scale fisheries and addresses the multiple challenges and opportunities present in the blue economy with an integrated development approach; from improved livelihoods and increased incomes, food security, protection of biodiversity and ecosystems, inclusion, good governance, climate adaptation and mitigation to strengthened resilience.

Resilience of the Blue Economy

The 12 Essential Criteria for Inclusive and Sustainable Fisheries Markets Following the identification of key common systemic constraints, and through working in the development of small scale fisheries over a number of years, mapping multiple diverse systems in the region, GOAL has identified 12 essential criteria required in order for small scale fisheries to develop sustainably in a way that reduces poverty and increases the income of small scale fishers. Recognising that although fisheries are diverse both in terms of scale, specific value chains or species fished, end markets reached (local/national/export etc.) and political, environmental and cultural contexts, GOAL determines that for a small scale fishery to be resilient, sustainable and inclusive, there needs to be:

Relevant and accessible financial services.


Relevant and accessible Business Development Services.


Stable and equitable commercial relationships (between fishers, intermediaries, buyers and supporting service providers and suppliers).


Necessary infrastructure, equipment, knowledge and procedures in place to ensure quality, safety, market and food standards are met.


Clear legal and regulatory framework for fisheries market supported by strong market coordination and oversight from market actors.


Equitable participation of women, youth and vulnerable groups across fisheries as well as a focus on social responsibility to improve access to basic services at community level.


A functional traceability system adopted across the market system.


Scientific research and development informs sustainable fisheries management, innovations and new technologies.


A Good Governance system for coastal marine resources based on participation and engagement of all stakeholders.


Fishers employing Good and Responsible Fishing Practices.


Early Warning Systems operational for principal hazards.




Transparent and accessible market information supporting effective marketing strategies.



Resilience of the Blue Economy

The strategy is unique in that it fully integrates economic, environmental and social considerations of small scale fishing systems, applying GOAL’s innovative approach ‘Resilience for Systems’ (R4S) that draws on best practice in systems thinking, network theory, Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P), Resilience-building and stakeholder participation and engagement.

MiPesca in Honduras: Our Intervention Strategy In Honduras, GOAL’s MiPesca strategy targets remote coastal fishing communities in the North Atlantic coast. GOAL is a leading agency in the area working with all stakeholders to develop a fairer and more inclusive market system for small scale fisheries, currently targeting scaled fish, jellyfish, lobster, shrimp and crab value chains. GOAL has developed a strong relationship with all the key stakeholders over the past 6 years and a comprehensive diagnostic and systems mapping process has been completed through which each of the fishing associations have been mapped out and categorised based on the level of organisation, infrastructure and equipment facilities, licensing and legal status and engagement with other market actors. All other market actors have been mapped out to fully understand their role in the critical market system. A financial assessment of the economic viability and investment potential has also been completed which demonstrates significant opportunities for sustainable growth. GOAL’s assessment identified a number of system-level constraints, which have been categorised under each of the 12 essential criteria and under various programmes funded by a number of agencies, GOAL is working towards facilitating change in these areas which in culmination will support the small scale fishing industry to move from surviving to thriving.

Resilience of the Blue Economy

Resilience of the Blue Economy Sustainable and Inclusive Fisheries

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