4WSFC Europe

September 12 - 14, 2022



Imagine the (Un)Imaginable

Revitalizing Small-Scale Fisheries in Europe

Under the theme ‘Imagine the (Un)Imaginable’, the congress provides a platform for an open and forward-looking discussion about the options and opportunities for small-scale fisheries in Europe, including those that may seem unlikely or inconceivable. With many things working for and against small-scale fisheries in Europe nowadays, the latter includes, among others, declining fish stocks, competition for resource and markets, and the ageing population of fishers, it is imperative to foster an environment of cooperation among various stakeholder that enables envisioning prospective future for this vital sector. Building on the knowledge and experience about factors and conditions for viable small-scale fisheries in Europe, the congress offers an exceptional opportunity to co-create vison(s) of what small-scale fisheries in Europe could look like, share and exchange ideas about what it will take to get there, and discuss actions and priorities in national and regional governance that could lead to sustainable future for small-scale fisheries in Europe.


By facilitating knowledge exchange, strengthening collaboration among small-scale fisheries networks and organizations, and mobilizing support for the viability and sustainability of small-scale fisheries, the congress will also promote the development of strategies in support of the implementation of the SSF Guidelines and the incorporation of small-scale fisheries in SDGs. 

The congress will be organized around six main topics:


Imagine Blue Justice

Imagine Gender Equity

Imagine Good Subsidies

Imagine Low-Impact Fishing

Imagine SSF-centric Governance

Imagine SSF in all SDGs

Contributions are invited from fishers and fishing communities, industry, government and intergovernmental organizations, civil society, and academia, interested in small-scale fisheries sustainability in Europe. Within and across the six themes, we welcome participants who are keen to share their experiences and lessons learned, who want to talk about what is already being done right and/or have ideas about prospects for what can be done better moving forward. Abstracts for individual papers or organized sessions (about 250 words) are accepted until
April 30, 2022.


The 4WSFC Europe is co-hosted by the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Animal Rights of Malta in partnership with TBTI Global and other key organizations.

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International Organizing Committee

Alicia Bugeja Said (Co-Chair)

 Ministry for Fisheries, Agriculture and Animal Rights, Malta

Ratana Chuenpagdee (Co-hair)

Memorial University, Canada

Milena Arias Schreiber

Gothenburg University, Sweden

 Katia Frangoudes

University of Brest, France

Douglas MacMillan

University of Kent, UK

Brian O'Riordan

Low Impact Fishers of Europe, Belgium


José J. Pascual-Fernández

University of La Laguna, Spain

Salmi Pekka

Natural Resources Institute Finland

Jerneja Penca

Euro-Mediterranean University, Slovenia

Cristina Pita

 International Institute for Environment and Development, UK

Brice Trouillet

 University of Nantes, France

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.