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'Transdisciplinarity and Transformation for the Future of Small-Scale Fisheries'

Transdisciplinarity is a perspective that is most appropriate when dealing with the complex nature and characteristics associated with small-scale fisheries and where various ways of knowing matter. The diversity of small-scale fisheries suggests that policy and governance approaches must be sensitive to context, which is why a broad range of knowledge, including those of small-scale fisheries people, needs to be integrated. The congress will emphasize the role of transdisciplinarity in policy-making, capacity development, and research that aim at promoting sustainable future of small-scale fisheries.


Small-scale fisheries are however affected by countless changes taking place around the world on land and at sea. In many instances, social, policy and governance transformation has taken place as a response, although not all transformation is favourable to small-scale fisheries. Careful considerations are required to promote beneficial transformation and to avoid harmful ones. The congress will focus on efforts that help enhance understanding about transformation, reveal nuances and contribute to promoting transformation towards sustainable future of small-scale fisheries.


By the end of the 3WSFC, we hope to arrive at some visions for the future of small-scale fisheries - one that embodies intentionality and deliberation about what may be feasible for small-scale fisheries and that encourages innovation in all aspects. Discussions about how to support the implementation of SSF Guidelines and what will it take to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly those related to ‘making fisheries sustainable,’ is specifically encouraged.


In order to facilitate interaction, information sharing, cross-fertilization of ideas and networking opportunities for congress participants, the congress will follow a dynamic format with activities organized around five theme days: science, community, policy, field, and action.

Monday, October 22

This day is designated for participants to share their findings from small-scale fisheries research and showcase how local, traditional, and scientific knowledge can be used as a driving force in decision-making and for making a real impact on the ground. Participants are encouraged to highlight innovative, transformative, and transdisciplinary approaches in doing and communicating small-scale fisheries science.

Tuesday, October 23

Small-scale fisheries communities play an imminent role in shaping the future for fisheries. This day will showcase work that helps enhance the understanding of small-scale fisheries communities and illuminate their importance. Participants are encouraged to present their experiences in community-based innovation and successful transformation.

Wednesday, October 24
The focus of this day is to address the challenges and opportunities to explore factors that may facilitate improved governance, enhanced legitimacy of formal and informal rules and regulations, and meaningful inclusion of various stakeholders groups in the decision-making process towards transformation of the small-scale fisheries sector. Special attention will be given to the discussion about how to pursue principles in the SSF Guidelines and to achieve SDGs.
Thursday, October 25

This is the day when we will go and visit a small freshwater lake, Kwan Phayao, where traditional small-scale fishing can be found. The trip will include a quick stop at a hot spring (only enough time to boil eggs), a longer stop at a local market (enough time to sample local delicacies), and a chat with local fishers.​

Friday, October 26

This day is about moving forward and looking at ways to integrate knowledge and approaches discussed during the four previous days of the Congress. The goal is to come up with a number of actions plans regarding what is needed to transform small-scale fisheries, from the perspective of innovation and transdisciplinarity.

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