Inauguration “Small-scale Fisheries Academy” in Dakar – A Contribution to Implementing the SSF Guidelines

From 28. November 2018

© Mundus maris asbl, 2018.

The consistent demands of small-scale fishers to get access to research results and also be able to contribute their empirical knowledge, is one of the concerns of the voluntary Guidelines for Small-scale fisheries adopted by the FAO’s Committee of Fisheries in 2014 and incorporated also into sustainable development goals (SDG 14). To address these demands and make a substantial contribution to the implementation of the SSF Guidelines, Mundus maris asbl, together with academic and professional partner organisations forming the Initiative’s Organising Committee, convened the inaugural session of the “Small-Scale Fisheries Academy” in Senegal. At the heart of this initiative lies the creation of a safe space for respectful exchange, joint learning, research and co-production of knowledge among diverse stakeholders engaged and interested in sustainable small-scale fisheries. On 14 November 2018, the inaugural session was hosted by the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie on the University campus in Dakar with more than 60 participants from all parts of Senegal, most of them men and women of all ages from fishing, fish handling and processing and trading. By using participatory working methods the participants came up with a first set of priorities for developing the academy’s curriculum and activities.

Mundus maris has been active within small-scale fishing communities for many years, undertaking research and engaging in making research results more readily accessible adopting a participatory working mode, which Mundus maris itself refers to as “critically engaged” science. In conjunction with the challenges of changing to sustainable production and consumption modes as well as public social services such approaches were featured specifically in a recent issue of Nature (3 October 2018) The aim is to include local practitioners in research processes to learn from one another and increase the uptake of knowledge for economic and social innovation.

The present undertaking is an open platform that hopes to stimulate further debate and collaboration – including co-financing options – fostering the development of the concept and its iterative implementation. For further information please write to info@mundusmaris.org .