FAO-CIHEAM Online Seminar on

Sustainability certification: harnessing the potential for small-scale fisheries and aquaculture

18 – 19 May 2022

10:00-12:30 Rome / 15:00-17:30 Bangkok / 18:00-20:30 Sydney

The International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022) emphasizes the importance of inclusive value chains for small scale artisanal fisheries and aquaculture which enhance access to markets, appropriate infrastructure, and sustainable use of aquatic resources that support livelihoods. Small-scale or artisanal production is often consumed in local markets, but can also reach other national, regional and international markets. However, their products often face challenges when it comes to market development. Third party certification has expanded greatly since the turn of the century. With consumer’s increasing preference and demand for sustainable fishery products, sustainability certification schemes have emerged as an important tool for product differentiation, especially within international markets. Certification could function as a driver and enabler of sustainability, bringing transparency and economic incentives for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture while also underpinning branding and marketing strategies. However, small-scale fisheries and aquaculture may find it relatively challenging to access certification, due to unequal access to financial and human capital, technology, and information. At the same time, alternative approaches and solutions have been under development to account for these limitations.

The objective of this seminar was to provide an overview of the current status of sustainability certification schemes, and discuss constraints and trends in fisheries and aquaculture with a special emphasis on small scale operations. It also presented selected case studies from Africa, America, Asia and Europe.

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The Seminar was jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) through the Fisheries and Aquaculture Division, and the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) through the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (CIHEAM Zaragoza).