Webinar: No hidden catch: mainstreaming small-scale fisheries in national accounts
This webinar on 20 November 2018 discussed how natural capital accounting methods could be used to identify the contribution made by small-scale fisheries to the national economy.
There are millions of small-scale fisheries around the world providing food and livelihoods for local communities and economies. Because they are mostly informal and difficult to track, they go unnoticed by sector statistics, which tend to focus on contributions from larger scale fishing industry to the national economy.
As a result, small-scale fisheries receive minimal attention from policymakers and consequently, minimal investment – if any. The disaggregation of national fisheries accounts can help reveal the role of small-scale fisheries in economic performance.
This webinar discussed how natural capital accounting methods could be used to identify the contribution made by small-scale fisheries to the national economy, and the way in which more people-centred reporting could help in designing and targeting policies and investments in the fisheries sector to benefit small-scale fisheries.
- Introductions (watch a recording of the introduction on IIED's YouTube channel)
- Sarah Harper, from the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, provided an introduction on to how it is possible to get better data from small-scale fisheries (watch a recording on IIED's YouTube channel)
- Michael Bordt, from UN ESCAP Statistics Division, showed how data collected can be used for cross sectoral analysis (watch a recording on IIED's YouTube channel)
- Ina Porras, senior researcher in IIED's Shaping Sustainable Markets research group, highlighted how this information can be used to design better policies – eg environmental action, guiding fiscal reform (watch a recording on IIED's YouTube channel)
- Question-and-answer session with participants (watch a recording on IIED's YouTube channel), and
- Discussion, review and closing remarks.
Millions of men and women are employed in small-scale fisheries and associated industries, yet their contribution to national economies is vastly underestimated. They are ignored by policymakers and their potential is missed.
Much of this is due to the lack of information differentiated to distinguish between large and small-scale fisheries, and contributions made by businesses and individuals in the fisheries value chain. Many of these small-scale fisheries and businesses are informal and are difficult to track.
But there are emerging ways to deal with this, with natural capital accounting being one method that can help to identify the contribution made by small-scale fisheries to economic performance.
Better quality, transparent data is harder to ignore and can influence policymaking that responds to the specific needs of these fisheries. With greater investment and more inclusive fiscal policies, small-scale fisheries can take their true place in the economy.
Sarah Harper gave an introduction to how it is possible to get better data from small-scale fisheries. Michael Bordt showed how collected data could be used for analysis across sectors. And Ina Porras talked about ways to integrate the data into policymaking, translating complex figures into policy-relevant messaging.
From responses to questions arising from the presentations it was clear that a determined effort is being made to gather this information. But as Bordt pointed out, right from the start, there are big gaps in assessing dynamic fish stocks and quantity of catch, with significant amounts of fish landed illegally and therefore, unreported.
Ocean accounts are being tested by different countries but work is still very much at the scoping stage. IIED is working on how to do fisheries accounts using the UNSEEA framework although again, a concerted drive is needed to gather stronger data to put into the framework.
Men and women’s different opportunities to access finance – one of the big issues for small-scale fishers – came up next, and many other questions followed. All four of the presentations, and the question-and-answer session, can be listened to in the recording below or on IIED's YouTube channel.
The webinar was organised as part of a wider programme of work that aims to enhance understanding of the true economic value of small-scale fisheries both to the national economy and to different social groups, and mainstream this information in national accounts to promote evidence-based policymaking.