Small-scale fisheries (SSF) are the backbone of the economy and society in many coastal countries, providing income and food security to millions of people.
Information about SSF remains poor, thus challenging a systematic reporting of SSF activities that could highlight their importance and inform policies. Consequently, SSF are often marginalized in national public policies and their importance in national societies remains poorly assessed and supported.
Although often considered as a resource use problem, the sustainability of SSF extends well beyond Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 and relates to community livelihoods, markets, political economy, among other factors, which has a determinant role on SSF viability. SSF have a greater potential to contribute to achieving UN SDGs than large-scale fisheries. Indeed, there is evidence that SSF support more jobs in small communities (SDG1 and SDG8), contribute more directly to food security (SDG2), employ more women (SDG5), and generally create less harm to the marine environment (SDG14).
As SDGs will pave policy trajectories in the coming decade, a better and more systematic understanding of the interactions between SSF and SDGs is critical to recommend strategies that would enhance the sustainability of that sector.