IUCN guidelines on Treasuring Fishers’ Knowledge for Policy Development and Safekeeping

A new Guidelines for the Gathering of Fishers’ Knowledge for Policy Development and Applied Use was published by IUCN. The launch is also in collaboration with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), World Forum of Fisher Peoples, and International Planning Committee Working Group on Fisheries.

Fishers using a cast net in the Pilcomato River, Bolivia.

Fishers are a key source of knowledge for assessment of both extractive capacity and value in small-scale fisheries, in addition to providing a broad array of cultural knowledge. This guidelines recognise the importance of both indigenous, local marine-coastal community knowledge, and experienced Fishers’ Knowledge for the development of Fisheries Policy. 

Designed to provide guidance on how to recognise and include fishers’ knowledge in resource management, across a range of contexts, the guidelines includes details on the breadth of knowledge that can be gathered, how it can be gathered, and how this information can be applied to support sustainable fisheries policy and broader applications in society.

The development of the guidelines, led by the IUCN SSC/CEESP Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, followed a robust participatory process and consulted with stakeholders from subject matter experts to governments, small-scale fisher organisations, indigenous fisher organisations, civil society organisations, research and academia, and the private sector; included contributions from 50 experts and case studies from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the Pacific. 

These guidelines are applicable in small-scale freshwater, riverine, lacustrine and near-shore coastal fisheries, and are complimentary to international instruments and guidelines that highlight the importance of traditional knowledge.

Guidelines can be accessed here.

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