IUCN guidelines for gathering of fishers’ knowledge for policy development and applied use

Small-scale fisheries provide food security, livelihoods and income to millions of people but their management still presents a challenge to managers and other stakeholders due to problems in gathering suitable information and its incorporation in fisheries policy. Fishers are a key source of knowledge for assessment of both extractive capacity and value in small-scale fisheries, in addition to providing a broad array of cultural knowledge. The increasing recognition of the value of incorporating traditional fishing knowledge in freshwater, riverine, lacustrine and coastal and marine fisheries management is now evident in international conventions and published literature. The purpose of these guidelines is to make it easier for users to recognise and include fishers’ knowledge as an important data stream in resource management. The report includes details on the breadth of knowledge that can be gathered, how it can be gathered, and how this information can be applied to support sustainable fisheries policy and broader applications in society. It contains case studies from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the Pacific.