An estimated 560 million people, or 8% of the global population, directly or indirectly depend on fishing for a living. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, more than 90% of these people are involved in small-scale fisheries. These figures suggest that small-scale fisheries are simply "too big to ignore".
The contribution of small-scale fisheries to food security, poverty alleviation, employment and economic development also means that they are "too important to fail."
For the most part, research and management efforts have not differentiated small- from large-scale fisheries, leaving the former at a disadvantage and worsening their marginalized conditions. New thinking in research, education, policy-making and governance is necessary, which is what the project "Too Big To Ignore: Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries Research" aims to do. The goals of this network are to elevate the profile of small-scale fisheries, to help rectify their marginalization, and to develop local and global capacity to address governance challenges facing this sector.
This presentation describes the initiatives taken to provide comprehensive information about small-scale fisheries, to gain in-depth knowledge about social and institutional issues affecting their sustainability, and to broaden perspective in research and education.