Supporting small-scale fisheries: World Bank aid, objectives and interventions over time

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Small-scale fisheries account for 38 percent of the total oceanic fish catch and are the ocean’s largest employer. Ninety percent of small-scale fisheries (SSF) are located in developing countries, and the proper management of SSF plays a key role in global food security and poverty eradication. The World Bank, a multilateral aid organization focused on reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development globally, is the biggest individual funder of SSF, and analyzing World Bank aid targeted to support small-scale fisheries can thus be a valuable proxy for understanding broader global aid trends and support strategies. A review of World Bank projects targeted to support SSF was conducted, and funding amount, problems identified, project objectives and project intervention type were identified and analyzed over time. The World Bank provided more than $463 million in funds explicitly targeted to support small-scale fisheries from 2000 to 2018, with the majority of aid allocated to countries in Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and the Pacific. Project objectives and interventions changed over time, shifting from a focus on utilizing under-exploited fisheries resources to a focus on conserving and sustainably managing fisheries resources. Additionally, a review of national policy planning documents for countries receiving SSF funding suggests that aid for SSF may be country-driven, although these results are limited. Future efforts to support SSF may wish to align their objectives and interventions with best-practices outlined in international SSF policy instruments, such as the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries.



Updated PDF including executive summary uploaded to replace original PDF on 2018-04-28 by mjf33.



Hamilton, Jill (2018). Supporting small-scale fisheries: World Bank aid, objectives and interventions over time. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

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