Artisan fishing
Artisan fishing is a term used to describe small scale low-technology
The term low-technology is a description of those crafts and tools whose inception predates the Industrial Revolution.A test for low-technology may be that it can be practiced or fabricated with a minimum of Capital investment by an individual or small group of individuals; and that the knowledge...

Commercial fishing
Commercial fishing is the activity of catching fish and other seafood for commercial profit, mostly from wild fisheries. It provides a large quantity of food to many countries around the world, but those who practice it as an industry must often pursue fish far into the ocean under adverse conditions...

 or subsistence fishing practices. The term particularly applies to coastal or island ethnic groups using traditional techniques
Fishing techniques
Fishing techniques are methods for catching fish. The term may also be applied to methods for catching other aquatic animals such as molluscs and edible marine invertebrates....

 such as rod
Fishing rod
A fishing rod or a fishing pole is a tool used to catch fish, usually in conjunction with the pastime of angling, and can also be used in competition casting. . A length of fishing line is attached to a long, flexible rod or pole: one end terminates in a hook for catching the fish...

 and tackle
Fishing tackle
Fishing tackle, is a general term that refers to the equipment used by fishermen when fishing. Almost any equipment or gear used for fishing can be called fishing tackle. Some examples are hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle...

, arrows and harpoon
A harpoon is a long spear-like instrument used in fishing to catch fish or large marine mammals such as whales. It accomplishes this task by impaling the target animal, allowing the fishermen to use a rope or chain attached to the butt of the projectile to catch the animal...

s, throw nets
Cast net
A cast net, also called a throw net, is a net used for fishing. It is a circular net with small weights distributed around its edge.The net is cast or thrown by hand in such a manner that it spreads out on the water and sinks. This technique is called net casting or net throwing. Fish are caught as...

 and drag nets, and traditional fishing boats
Traditional fishing boats
Traditionally, many different kinds of boats have been used as fishing boats to catch fish in the sea, or on a lake or river. Even today, many traditional fishing boats are still in use. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization , at the end of 2004, the world fishing fleet...

. It does not usually cover the concept of fishing for sport, and might be used when talking about the pressures between large scale modern commercial fishing practises and traditional methods, or when aid programs are targeted specifically at fishing at or near subsistence levels.

Artisan fishing is often, but not always, less intensive and less stressful on fish populations than modern industrial fishing techniques. It is subject to difficulties in the export process due to inadequate investment in refrigeration and processing facilities. However, the most important goal of artisan fishing is domestic consumption, as it is often an important source of inexpensive and accessible protein in poor coastal areas.


The world’s bottom billion are falling behind in the war on poverty and hunger. Traditional staple foods alone cannot feed the world while fisheries and aquaculture have the potential to provide better nutrition and improve incomes for the poor.

Fisheries are a source of high-protein food: they provide over 1.5 billion people with 20 percent of their animal protein, and 3 billion people with 15 percent of their animal protein. In some countries they provide up to 70% of animal protein -affordable, high-quality animal protein- that is particularly important for mothers-to-be and young children.

Catching, processing and trading fish provides a livelihood for millions of men and women, the overwhelming majority of whom are associated with small-scale fisheries. In fact, of the 70% of the world’s total fish catch that comes from developing countries, over a half of this comes from small-scale fisheries.

The challenges

Small scale fisheries have failed to keep pace with demand for food and employment in developing countries and urgently require attention to technology, health, economics and reform in management and governance. Globally there are 38 million full-time fishers, and 20% of these fishers earn less than US$1 per day. Most wild-fish stocks are near the limit of their productive capacity or have destabilized or declined because of overfishing and other causes. Given these pressures and constraints, the capacity to maintain wild fisheries needs to increase, and aquaculture needs further development since it is the only alternative way fish production can be substantially increased.

Climate change poses additional challenges affecting the seasonality and productivity of fisheries, as well as the geographical locations and viability of the supporting habitats while a further global threat comes from degradation of coral reefs. Seventy-five percent of coral reefs are currently under immediate and direct threat from local sources, which include overfishing, destructive fishing, coastal development, and pollution.

See also

  • Fishing weir
    Fishing weir
    A fishing weir, or fish weir, is an obstruction placed in tidal waters or wholly or partially across a river, which is designed to hinder the passage of fish. Traditionally they were built from wood or stones. They can be used to trap fish...

  • Fishing village
  • Traditional fishing boats
    Traditional fishing boats
    Traditionally, many different kinds of boats have been used as fishing boats to catch fish in the sea, or on a lake or river. Even today, many traditional fishing boats are still in use. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization , at the end of 2004, the world fishing fleet...

  • Community supported fishery
    Community supported fishery
    A community supported fishery is a shore-side community of people collaborating with the local fishing community. Tailored after the community supported agriculture model, a CSF contributes freshly caught local seafood to the local markets while providing fishermen with a better price on less catch...

  • 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
    2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
    The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...

External links

  • OAS
    Organization of American States
    The Organization of American States is a regional international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States...

    : Report on fisheries including artisan fishing
  • FAO
    Fão is a town in Esposende Municipality in Portugal....

    : Report on artisan fishing in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami
  • World Fish Center: Productive and resilient Small-scale Fisheries
  • Artisanal Fisheries ACIAR Project FIS/2001/079
  • "Los Hombres del Lago", a documentary film by Aaron I. Naar presenting the story of the smallest Bolivia
    Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

    n fishing community of Uru-Muratos
    The Uru-Muratos are descendents of an old indigenous community in Bolivia, the Urus or Uros. Because of their place of living, surroundings of Lake Poopó, they were commonly known as the "men of the lake". In 1930 their lands and lake were invaded by the Aymara people...

    , Puñaca Tintamaria. Narrated by the community’s ex-leader, Daniel Moricio Choque, the movie recounts the history of their community, customs, and current problems: their continuous poverty, lack of land and representation, the contamination of Lake Poopó, and the impact of global warming. See a 12 minutes fragment from the film on Youtube
    YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

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