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4th World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress (4WSFC)

A series of five regional congresses

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About the Congress

The 4th World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress (4WSFC) is a transdisciplinary forum for anyone interested in small-scale fisheries to participate in an interactive discussion about the world's small-scale fisheries. The purpose of the congress is to facilitate knowledge exchange, foster collaboration, and mobilize support for the viability and sustainability of small-scale fisheries. Considering the Covid-19 global pandemic, and recognizing the need to strengthen regional networks and organizations, the 4WSFC will take place in five regions of the world.


The 4WSFC coincides with the International Year for Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022), declared by the United Nations to recognize the contributions of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture to livelihoods, food and nutritional security, emphasizing the necessity for everyone to take actions to support the sector. The regional congresses are organized to celebrate IYAFA 2022, as well as to build research and governance capacity, and to strengthen local and regional organizations and networks, in order to support the implementation of the ‘Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication’ (SSF Guidelines).


Further, to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 ‘Life Below Water,’ the regional congresses aim to highlight the fundamental role that small-scale fisheries play in achieving all SDGs, since they are closely connected to ‘Life Above Water.’ Finally, given the heightened interest around Blue Growth and Blue Economy initiatives, the regional congresses provide a platform to discuss how the rights, access and wellbeing of small-scale fisheries might be affected by these initiatives, as well as offer an opportunity to discuss what we can do collective to achieve Blue Justice for Small-Scale Fisheries


The 4WSFC Series are organized by volunteers, with support from contributing partners. Individuals interested in attending the congress in-person will need to cover their own costs (travels and meals), as well as pay a nominal registration fee. Anyone attending virtually will not need to pay to participate but will still need to register. Some congress sessions will be streamed live, presented virtually, or video-recorded, and will be available to all registered participants free of charge.


For questions and comments email

2022 International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA)

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2022 the International Year for Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022). IYAFA aims to enhance understanding of, raise awareness, and support the contributions of small-scale and artisanal fisheries and aquaculture to sustainable development around the world; specifically their role in food security, nutrition provision, poverty eradication, and sustainable use of natural resources. IYAFA 2022 also aims to promote sharing and collaboration among small-scale fishers, fishworkers, fishfarmers, and stakeholders to support policy co-development. 


The IYAFA Global Action Plan (GAP) promotes inclusive value chains, gender equity and equality, awareness and resilience to climate change and disasters, sustainable use of biodiversity, empowering fishers, building partnerships, and nourishing nations by, with, and for artisanal fisheries and aquaculture. These key messages are the foundation of IYAFA, and will help guide sustainable development in the years to come. 

The 4th World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress series is part of IYAFA. We recognize and celebrate the billions of people whose lives and livelihoods are artisanal fisheries and aquaculture around the world. 


4WSFC Latin America
& the Caribbean:
Stronger Together

October 25-27, 2022

Merida, Mexico


4WSFC Africa:
Leading by

November 21-23, 2022

Cape Town, South Africa


4WSFC Asia-Pacific: Building Forward Better

May 10-12, 2022

Shizuoka, Japan

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4WSFC North America: Getting IT Right

June 20-22, 2022

St. John's, Canada


4WSFC Europe:
Imagine the (Un)Imaginable

September 12-14, 2022


Regional Congresses


Too Big To Ignore (TBTI) is a global research network and knowledge mobilization partnership that focuses on addressing issues and concerns affecting viability and sustainability of small-scale fisheries. The overall aims of TBTI are to raise the profile of small-scale fisheries and reduce their marginalization, promote their wellbeing, and improve governance. TBTI argues for a just, inclusive and holistic approach to sustainable development by incorporating issues and concerns facing small-scale fisheries, as expressed by small-scale fisheries communities, centrally in the discussion about sustainability, the future and ways forward.

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Interested? Have questions? We want to hear from you!

Send us an email at with questions, suggestions, feedback, or just to say hello!

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