Harnessing the diversity of small-scale actors is key to the future of aquatic food systems



Short RE, Gelcich S, Little DC, Micheli F, Allison EH, Basurto X, Belton B, Brugere C, Bush SR, Cao L, Crona B, Cohen PJ, Defeo O, Edwards P & Kaminski AM (2021) Harnessing the diversity of small-scale actors is key to the future of aquatic food systems. Nature Food, 2 (9), pp. 733-741.

Small-scale fisheries and aquaculture (SSFA) provide livelihoods for over 100 million people and sustenance for ~1 billion people, particularly in the Global South. Aquatic foods are distributed through diverse supply chains, with the potential to be highly adaptable to stresses and shocks, but face a growing range of threats and adaptive challenges. Contemporary governance assumes homogeneity in SSFA despite the diverse nature of this sector. Here we use SSFA actor profiles to capture the key dimensions and dynamism of SSFA diversity, reviewing contemporary threats and exploring opportunities for the SSFA sector. The heuristic framework can inform adaptive governance actions supporting the diversity and vital roles of SSFA in food systems, and in the health and livelihoods of nutritionally vulnerable people—supporting their viability through appropriate policies whilst fostering equitable and sustainable food systems.

Climate-change policy; Social policy; Sustainability

Additional co-authors: Caroline E Ferguson, Nicole Franz, Christopher D. Golden, Benjamin S. Halpern, Lucie Hazen, Christina Hicks, Derek Johnson, Sangeeta Mangubhai, Rosamond L. Naylor, Melba Reantaso, U. Rashid Sumaila, Shakuntala H. Thilsted, Michelle Tigchelaar, Colette C. C. Wabnitz & Wenbo Zhang

Nature Food: Volume 2, Issue 9

FundersThe Walton Family Foundation Inc
Publication date31/12/2021
Publication date online15/09/2021
Date accepted by journal09/08/2021

People (1)


Professor Dave Little

Professor Dave Little

Professor, Institute of Aquaculture