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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.


​​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.

Abstract submission for the  4WSFC Europe has been closed. If you have submitted an abstract but have not received a confirmation of submission, please contact


All congress sessions will be recorded in the Zoom Events platform and posted on the TBTI YouTube channel. By registering for the congress, you are agreeing that you may be recorded or live-streamed at this event and that the recording of the event may be available for public viewing. The recordings as well as any material collected during a recording or a live-stream (images, voice or name) will be used for non-commercial purposes only.


The registration has been closed


Registration fees:

1) Paid registration for in-person or hybrid attendance

Regular fee: EUR 175

Discounted registration: EUR 75 (for students, early career scientists, fishers & members of community organizations) 

The registration fee includes access to all sessions and refreshments during breaks.
​​No on-site registration will be available.

2) No cost registration for virtual attendance only (all sessions)

➡ For those not attending the congress in-person (virtual attendance only), registration is offered free of charge.

All congress participants, including those participating in-person AND those attending virtually, need to register through the Zoom Events platform by August 15*. Once this is completed, those attending in-person will receive instructions on how to complete the payment and finalize their registration.


*If you are presenting an individual paper or are organizing a special session, please register no later than July 31st. If you don't confirm your participation by July 31st, your paper/session will be removed from the congress program.


Note: to complete the registration on Zoom Events platform, you will need to have a Zoom account. Use an existing account, if you have it. Otherwise, create a new one.


For congress will take place at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), VGG4+GJ6, Triq, Paola PLA 9032, Malta.

All plenaries will be held in the Student House Hall. The parallel sessions will be held in the IMBC building, next to the Student House.

The registration, lunches and coffee breaks will take place in the Student House Hall.

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For those who are planning to join in-person, we encourage you to book your accommodations early as the congress takes place during a busy tourist season. The list of accommodations near the venue is listed below.

  • Water Edge Hotel in Birzebbugia

  • South Winds, Marsaxlokk

  • Dun Gorg, Marsaxlokk

  • South Winds, Marsaxlokk

  • Fisherman's Cove, Marsaxlokk

  • Port View, Marsaxlokk

  • Harbour Lodge, Marsaxlokk

  • Quay Side, Marsaxlokk

  • Duncan Guest House, Marsaxlokk


Participants can use buses and taxis to get to the venue and back.


Click on the link to find the exact bus routes depending on the accommodation location:

Bus routes from some of the man locations to the congress venue are provided below.
Participants can also go straight to Valletta and catch other buses to Paola.

Marsascala to MCAST Paola: Bus No. 204

Birzebbugia to MCAST Paola: Bus No. 210

Marsaxlokk to MCAST Paola: Bus No. 81

Valletta to MCAST Paola: Bus No. 2

The map below shows the location of the main congress venue 'Student House' on MCAST Campus.

Participants with RENTAL CARS can access the car park from the other end of MCAST, as shown on the map.


Bus transportation

Taxi & ride services

There are a number of taxi companies and ride services that you can choose from,
including Ecabs, Uber, Bolt and Cool Ride-Pooling.

In-person attendance

The congress will be held at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) in Paola, VGG4+GJ6, Triq, Paola PLA 9032, Malta.

All plenaries will be held in the Student House Hall. The parallel sessions will be held in the IMBC building, next to the Student House.  The registration, lunches and coffee breaks will take place in the Student House Hall.

All registered participants can pick up the name badge and the congress kit at the congress venue, starting on Monday, September 12 at 8:00. There will be no on-site registration. Coffee breaks and lunches will be provided for all three days.


If you’re part of the contributed paper session, you have a total of 15 minutes for your presentation (including Q&A). Speed presentations have been allocated 5 minutes. If you are part of a special session, please follow the instructions from the session organizers.

In-person presenters of the contributed papers sessions are asked to email their PowerPoint presentations to by Sunday, September 11. When sending the presentation, please put your name and session number in the subject line. If you are part of the plenary sessions or the organized sessions, please send your presentation to the session organizers.

Virtual attendance

The congress in run on Zoom Events Platform ( Before the congress, we strongly recommend that you login into the congress lobby and familiarize yourself with the platform (see below for details).



If you’re part of the contributed paper session, you have a total of 15 minutes for your presentation (including Q&A). Speed presentations have been allocated 5 minutes. If you are part of a special session, please follow the instructions from the session organizers.

There is no need to send your PowerPoint presentations to the congress secretariat, unless specified by your session organizers. You will need to log into the congress lobby and join your session 15 minutes before the session start time (using the special ‘panelist’ ticket, which will be sent to you). You will be able to share your screen and present when it is your turn. See instructions below on how to access the congress lobby and attend session.

How to attend sessions virtually? 


If you have registered online, you have a ticket, which you secured through your Zoom account. Your ticket confirmation, which was sent to your email, should look similar to this. If you have not received this message, your registration was not successful. In that case, email

Ticket confirmation.jpg


Go to Zoom Events ( and sign into your Zoom Events account using the same login information as when you registered for the congress.

Open the 'Tickets' tab and click on the 'Join lobby'.


You will be able to join the lobby via web browser OR from your Zoom desktop application.
We recommend to join via web browser as it is a more convenient way to access the lobby. 



If you do choose to 'Join via Zoom Instead' option, follow these steps:

  • install the 'Zoom Client for Meetings' desktop application:

  • sign in using the same Zoom login you used when registering for the congress

  • leave the desktop application running in the background

  • go to the congress page ( and press the 'Join lobby' button.

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​Once you are in the lobby, you will be able to see the full list of sessions and participate. To do so, click on the 'Session' in the top right menu.


In the session menu, locate the session(s) that you are part of or are interested in. You can also add them to your 'Itinerary' tab by selecting the little flag in the session window.


At the start of the session, the 'join' button in the session window will become clickable - then, simply click on it and enter the session.


If you are a speaker or a chair/moderator, you will be able to enter your session 10 minutes before the session officially starts.

All settings in the congress sessions, including audio and video controls, screen sharing and chat functions as well as other settings are identical to those in regular Zoom Webinars.


For more information about Zoom Events, please read this article:



Sunday, September 11

Festa Ħut (Mir-Raħal tas-Sajjieda) is a celebration of one of Malta’s oldest trades and a great opportunity to learn the culture and the folklore of fishing. This is celebrated in Marsaxlokk - a quaint fishing village in the south-east of Malta. Visiting Marsaxlokk during Festa Ħut can truly immerse the visitors in the Maltese culture and also appreciate the work done by local fishers. The traditional and colourful fishing boats known as luzzu, are one of the highlights of the event. These small fishing wooden boats, which are painted in bright shades of blue, red, yellow and green, have been used in Malta for many years. Each boat has a painted pair of eyes on the bow, which symbolize power and good health, and are believed to offer protection to the fishermen while they are at sea. The luzzu boats can be seen all over the waters surrounding Marsaxlokk, colouring the scene with their bright colours. As the luzzu boats draw close to the shore, one can observe the freshly caught fish being transferred directly to the stalls where it will be sold and consumed within hours.

A typical programme at the Festa Ħut consists of fresh fish market, fishing competitions, traditional performers (Għana, folk dance  and strolling musicians), cooking demonstrations, exhibition of traditional fishing tools, boat trips and many other activities.

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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  Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal

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. 

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