About us

TBTI Global Foundation (TBTI Global) is a registered non-governmental organization, based in Bangkok, Thailand. It was established in 2019 to amplify the work of the original Too Big To Ignore (TBTI) Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries Research, which began in 2012 with six-years funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to Memorial University, Canada. The name ‘TBTI’ is known among fisheries actors, including governments and intergovernmental organizations, as the research center and knowledge mobilization hub for all aspects of small-scale fisheries, arguing that they are ‘too big to ignore’.

TBTI Global’s key mandates are to rectify the marginalization of small-scale fisheries in national and international policies, and to develop research and governance capacity to address global fisheries challenges. It achieves its mission through activities and deliverables such as a comprehensive open-access information system in small-scale fisheries, conducting in-depth social science and interdisciplinary research on topics related to small-scale fisheries; and synthesizing and mobilizing knowledge for policy discussion and capacity development in small-scale fisheries. TBTI Global has more than 800 members and 20 partner organizations, working in over 50 countries around the world.

TBTI objectives

  •    Understand the importance of small-scale fisheries to livelihoods, poverty alleviation, and food security
  •    Explore small-scale fisheries contribution to economic development, sustainability, and community viability
  •    Assess vulnerability of small-scale fisheries to global change processes
  •    Improve policy discussions and decision making about small-scale fisheries 
  •    Strengthen knowledge about small-scale fisheries and build capacity in research and governance
  •    Advance implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines)

What we do

  •     Facilitate networking opportunities
  •     Organize meetings, workshops, and webinars
  •     Develop capacity in transdisciplinary research
  •     Connect sciences to policy and society
  •     Produce books, papers, reports, and briefs
  •     Host World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress (WSFC)

Our approach

Conduct research and knowledge mobilization activities

Through its clusters and working groups, TBTI Global has been conducting research and knowledge mobilization activities, covering key issues and concerns related to sustainable small-scale fisheries. The primary goal of our research effort has been improving fisheries governance for small-scale fisheries in a way that will lead to a governance system that is based on universal principles, including human rights, dignity, and justice.

Provide a global repository of small-scale fisheries data

To help improve information about small-scale fisheries, TBTI Global has developed one of the most comprehensive information systems on small-scale fisheries (issfcloud.toobigtoignore.net/). Information System for Small-scale Fisheries (ISSF) is a global collaborative online database providing information on small-scale fisheries to help enhance knowledge about this sector and their overall contributions. 

Facilitate networking and capacity building opportunities 

We organize conferences under the World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress series (WSFC) and  SSF Regional Symposiums. We also hosts workshops, lectures, seminars, and annual public events such as those marking the World Fisheries Day. These events facilitate knowledge exchange, foster collaboration, and mobilize support for the viability and sustainability of small-scale fisheries.

Apply transdisciplinary perspective 

Since 2015, TBTI has been developing a transdisciplinary (TD) training program to help build capacity for the implementation of the SSF Guidelines, as well as for promoting viable and sustainable small-scale fisheries more broadly. The main objective of the TD training program is to engage participants in a critical examination of a range of issues, challenges and concerns related to fisheries and ocean sustainability, especially those affecting small-scale fisheries.

Build capacity through TBTI hubs

Sustainable small-scale fisheries begin in the communities where they belong. TBTI country hubs are established to strengthen the national network of researchers and stakeholders supporting small-scale fisheries, highlight their contribution to food security, social wellbeing and ecosystem health, and enhance the inclusion of small-scale fisheries in national policies and development strategies, grounded in equity and justice principles.

Please contact us if you would like to establish a hub in your country,
and help make small-scale fisheries too big to ignore!

TBTI staff