'Blue Justice - Alert to Action' Global Campaign

World Day of Social Justice

February 20, 2024

Justice for Small-Scale Fisheries in Northern Peru

How can information help address Blue Justice for small-scale fisheries?

Tulio is an artisanal fisher from Lobitos, a remote fishing village along Peru’s bone-dry northern coastline. Between contamination from oil platforms and indiscriminate fishing methods by trawlers and purse seiners, Tulio describes the injustices Peruvian fishes face that span generations. He also proposes solutions grounded in interactive governance with coordination and collaboration between the State, coast guard, local fisher collectives, and coastal communities.


Location: Lobitos, Piura, Peru 

Information Systems on Small-Scale Fisheries (ISSF) collects and shares information in order to help enhance knowledge about small-scale fisheries and raise awareness about the numerous contributions of this important sector. TBTI Global has collected over 50 case studies about Blue Justice that is shared on ISSF through the ‘SSF Blue Justice’ dataset. Check out the video for a short overview of these case studies and learn how they can help inform justice for small-scale fisheries.


Ichi-Danketsu (togetherness) for the Blue Justice!

Through the eyes of a fisherman's son: Today and in the future

A recent update to the Fisheries Act in Japan, with its prioritization of ‘seichosangyoka (growth industrialization)’ and ‘resource management’, will force a profound change in Japan’s fishing industry. There is an urgent need to promote Blue Justice in Japanese small-scale fisheries. Ichi-Danketsu is the way Building Forward Better!


Location: Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan Producer: Yinji Li, TBTI Japan

Growing up by the sea, he learned to fish with his father. But little did he know, he would also have to witness the harsh realities of injustice where their voices are often unheard and drowned out. Growing up in a fishing community and as a fisherman’s son, he has seen their injustices firsthand. It’s time to speak up for our future and protect what sustains us.


Location: Barangay Buluan, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, The Philippines


Through tHarmony at sea: Empowering small-scale fishers for Blue Justice campaign

Small-scale fisheries: A story of struggle and hope

The fishery sector of Nueva Valencia, Guimaras supports a huge number of small-scale fishers. These fishers provide food for the community but their importance does not appear to be acknowledged given that they lack adequate support and assistance.. This documentary centers around hearing the narratives of the overlooked small-scale fishers as a way to empower them and bring justice to their difficulties.


Location: Sitio, Laktawan, Brgy. Poblacion, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras, The Philippines


Behind the tranquil waters lies a hidden truth – the struggles of small-scale fisheries. Illegal activities continue to thrive, leaving him questioning: why? He has faced injustices, but his hope for change and fairness never wavered. Let’s shed light on their plight and work towards creating a fairer world for small-scale fishers.


Location: Barangay Buluan, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, Philippines


SSF preferential rights in municipal waters in the Philippines: Respected or ignored?

Insights and perspectives of fishers and communities in the Philippines

The video features three fishers from North, Middle, and South of Iloilo Province citing a common problem of commercial fishers encroaching in municipal waters. Aside from facing displacements from or restricted access to fishing grounds due to tourism, marine protected areas, mariculture, and other development aggression activities, small-scale fishers deal with intrusion of commercial fishers using more efficient gear within the municipal waters. The contributions of small-scale fisheries to food, nutrition security, and livelihood in the country warrant that they should not be ignored.


Locations: Miagao, Iloilo, Philippines Leganes, Iloilo, Philippines Concepcion, Iloilo, Philippines

Our team from the Batangas State University – The National Engineering University ARASOF diligently captured the insights and perspectives of fishers and communities in the Philippines, highlighting their experiences and aspirations related to Blue Justice. These short narratives will contribute significantly to the discourse on sustainable fisheries management and the pursuit of equitable and inclusive marine governance.


Locations: Calatagan, Batangas, Philippines


This is all we ask...

An old-timer fisher of Narayani River

The small-scale fishers of Bang Saphan have been facing injustice issues, caused mostly by the new Fisheries Act, which prevents them from fishing the way they have always done. But the Act has encouraged them to organize, and has made it possible for them to participate in decision-making. Now they are able to represent themselves and tell their side of the stories, plus raise questions. One of the questions is about the closed season, whether it really helps improve the fisheries, and if so, why they are not benefiting from it. There is also no consideration for them, for the 3-month period that they are not allowed to fish, which is on top of the ‘natural closure’ of a couple of months during the monsoon season. Their final word is not a question but an ask. They don’t really need the support from the government, but they want the government to let them be.


Location: Bang Saphan, Thailand Producer: TBTI Thailand


Sur Bahadur Kumal has been fishing all his life. He owns a boat and he has a license. He uses simple gears like handline, and catches only a small amount of fish each day. It is enough for him to sell at the market and he can fetch some good prices when the fish are big. He is able to send his children through school, and none of them is taking after him, although his sons sometimes help him. He does not own the land where his house is built on, however; thus he is in a precarious situation. Being a licensed fisher helps, but it is not a guarantee. He might not even be able to renew his license. He would like to see an area that is designated for small-scale fisheries without any interference from others, including recreational motor boats.


Location: The bank of Narayani River, Shivghat, Bharatpur-16, Nepal


Illegal fishing damages the ecosystem and destroy small-scale fisheries livelihoods

Overfishing damages fisheries habitat and poses a threat to the livelihoods of SSF

The near shore area (Zone A) is reserved for the artisanal fishers; however, trawlers operate fishing nets in the nearshore area to catch squid, shrimp and other species. Fish-bombing and use of destructive chemicals for fishing has become a serious problem for the health of fisheries habitat and livelihoods of traditional fishers. The encroachment of trawlers and illegal fishing attempts can be reduced through effective participation of local fishers and fisheries agencies. The fisheries agencies and NGOs should conduct environmental awareness campaigns in the community to motivate active community participation for protecting the fisheries.


Locations: Putatan, Kota Kina Balu, Malaysia Kampung (village), Likas, Kota Kina Balu Tekek, Tioman, Phahang, Malaysia


Fishing effort has significantly increased in the limited fishing ground available for the traditional fishers. With fishing competition on the rise, traditional fishers are not able to shift to alternative occupations due to lack of capital assets. Low income from fishing has become a serious problem; at the same time, the issue of imposing fishing restrictions in the common pool fisheries is a challenge for the government. These problems could be resolved through creating alternative income opportunities and developing safety net programs to reduce poverty in the poor fishing community.


Location: Chwaka Village, Chwaka Bay, Zanzibar, Tanzania Producer: Waziri Ali Hamad

When injustices engulf, hope remains: a glimpse into small-scale fisheries from Sylhet

PINGIshing Udingan

Inland small-scale fishers from a small Bangladeshi village describe their struggles in accessing fisheries resources due to oppressing social and political marginalization. However, they are still hopeful that the right action and mechanisms by the governing institutions can help make the fisheries just and viable.


Location: Gowainghat, Sylhet, Bangladesh


The video showcases a group of people fishing with the use of drivein fishing method locally called ‘PING'”. They are targeting freshwater goby (Glossogobius giuris) known locally as Udingan.


Location: Sitio Baringin, Magsaysay, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, The Philippines

Artisanal processors demanding Blue Justice in the fishing community of Hann

How the push for sustainable ocean development affects Newfoundland's coastal communities

The video focuses on a local association of women processors in the fishing community of Hann. The artisanal processing sector, of which women are the main tenants, performs an important social and economic function. While artisanal fishing has always been and continues to be marginalized by the governments, this is especially true for artisanal processing and micro-fish farming, which is exclusively the responsibility of women. The sector is affected by poor fisheries governance, coupled with a notable lack of political will on the part of decision-makers to improve the situation. This lack of responsibility has resulted in the signing of fishing agreements that have allowed foreign fleets that have been plundering small pelagic stocks for years, depriving women engaged in artisanal fishing of their raw material on which their daily lives depend.


Location: Hann, Senegal


Small-scale fishers from Newfoundland are expressing their concerns over the current state of fisheries in the region. They are worried about the effect that the limited quotas have on their livelihoods and they don’t feel adequately represented by the unions. All harvesters are bound by the same decrees, regardless of the fishing methods they use, and many times, large, off-shore fisheries are favoured. Fishers wish to see specific regulations and quotas for specific fisheries to address Blue Injustice.


Locations: Petty Harbour & Grates Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Blue Justice video featuring a fisher in Puerto Princesa

Just Be Fisherfolk

When you live by the Pacific side of the Philippines, life is tough. For the fishers who rely on the sea to survive, facing dangerous waves and winds is their everyday struggle. Despite these challenges, they brave the waters to feed their families. But it is not just nature they battle – illegal fishers also threaten their livelihoods. These poachers use harmful methods like poison and compressor diving to catch more fish. Even though the fishers fight back, the lack of patrol boats makes it hard for authorities to stop illegal fishing. Still, the small-scale fishers in Southern Leyte have to keep going, risking their lives to protect their way of life and the ocean they depend on. It is a tough fight for justice and sustainability along the Pacific shores of the Philippines.


Location: Silago, Southern Leyte, Philippines & Liloan, Southern Leyte, Philippines

The poem highlights various injustices experienced by women and men in the Barbados fishing industry ranging lack of engagement and disregard in decision-making; perceived moves towards privatisation of the industry particularly the postharvest segment of the fisheries value chain; feelings of being ‘squeezed out of livelihoods etc. The poem calls on governments, fisheries divisions, market management, and consumers to listen to fisherfolk when decisions are to be made. Fisherfolk call on fishing industry actors including NGOs and academia to help support them in their fight for SSF justice. “Who Feels It, Knows It” was written by Sheena Griffith, a small-scale flyingfish processor after a group discussion with other small-scale fish processors on injustices in the Barbados fishing industry and much needed actions.

Locations: Barbados

Producers: The video was produced by CERMES (Mia Clarke and Dale Benskin)

Credits/acknowledgments: The Voices from the Shore Theatre Collective (Sheena Griffith, Margaret Harding and Sylvia White), Michelle Barrow (Theatre for Development Facilitator) and Maria Pena (GIFT co-lead)

Blue Justice video featuring a fisher in Puerto Princesa [Philippines]

To see and hear is to believe: The story of our small scale fisherfolks [Philippines]

Location: Aplaya, Bgy. Tagburos, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Philippines


The video interviewed two types of fisherfolks. One is a fisher that goes out at sea to catch fish, realizing that the catch is declining through time. The other one is a wife of a fisher that witnessed the struggles of her husband due to their equipment being stolen by other fishers.


Location: Barangay Lamintao, Barotac Nuevo, Philippines