The FAO Global Conference on Small-Scale Fisheries
(4SSF), held in October 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand, was the first initiative of its kind to be organized with smallscale fisheries as the central theme trying to give priority to small-scale fisheries and ensure adequate visibility for them.
Since that date the IPC fisheries working group with the participation and the support of others NGO and fisherfolk organizations such as: World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fishworkers - WFF, World Forum of Fisher Peoples – WFFP, and International Collective in Support of Fishworkers- ICSF, had been advocating for the development of an “instrument” (code or voluntary guidelines) in follow up to Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, trying to establish a coordination body to facilitate dealing and engagement of fisheries organizations and representatives with the COFI Secretariat, in order to address the problems continuing to face small-scale and artisanal fishworkers and fishing communities across the world.
In February 2011 at the Twenty-Ninth session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI
) the Committee approved the development of a new international instrument on small-scale fisheries to complement the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF), drawing on relevant existing instruments. The proposal to develop a new nstrument was supported by over 20 countries that included Brazil, Norway, Thailand, South Africa, Morocco, Namibia, Russia, Chile, Mauritania, Indonesia, Oman, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Mexico, United States of America, Angola, Algeria, Mauritius, Cameroon and Ivory Coast. The Committee agreed that the new instrument could take the form of an international guidelines, be voluntary in nature, address both inland and marine fisheries and focus on the needs of developing countries.
Following the recommendation of the Committee that recommended that all stakeholders be associated, as appropriate, with the development of such an instrument the IPC fisheries working group had decided to facilitate the redaction of an independent process to develop civil society guidelines on small scale fishery rights, using the Bangkok Statement and other relevant civil society documents as the basis. These CSO guidelines will be finalized through national-level consultations, to ensure that the development of the civil society guidelines includes grass roots perspectives and aspirations.
The working group is made up of representatives of each constituency ensuring regional and gender balance.