Take Action: Family and Small-Scale Fisheries

Ready to get involved? Read on to learn how to fight consolidation in the fishing industry and support small-scale and family fisheries.

Stay informed

For news and updates on policies and programs that effect small-scale fisheries, these newsletters are great ways to keep up on the latest research:

Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) newsletter offers updates on the efforts to protect the marine ecosystem and fishing communities.

To get the latest research reports and action opportunities, sign up for the Food & Water Watch newsletter.

The international Nyéléni newsletter is the voice of the international movement for food sovereignty.

To see a list of organizations that post content on their websites, see the Organizations article.

Contact your elected officials  

Let your Senators and Representatives at all levels of government know that you support small-scale fisheries and oppose consolidation in the fishing industry.

For an updated list of current petitions, see the Food &Water Watch Take Action page.

Visit Slow Fish to learn more about the issues of small-scale fish and food producers.

Buy local or regional

Fish wild-caught by independent fishers is a great alternative to industrial-scale or factory-farmed fish. Family and small-scale fisheries use smaller nets that don’t scrape the bottom of the ocean, so their work is better for the ocean’s ecosystem. Supporting small-scale fishers means supporting small businesses and historic fishing communities. Support fleet diversity wherever you live and buy seafood.

Look for local fish at farmers’ markets, find a nearby Community Supported Fishery (CSF) and ask your fishmongers at area grocery stores for their seasonal, local and wild-caught fish options. To find a CSF near you, go to LocalCatch.org. Check out the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) statement on “ green seafood” for a set of seven principles to help you inform your seafood purchases. Instead of prescribing specific fish, which can result in overexploitation of prescribed species, NAMA suggests guidelines that will inform your decision no matter what type of seafood you’re purchasing.

You can also get involved by finding a Boat to Cafeteria program near you, or asking your local schools and hospitals to source local and regional seafood when possible. Boat to Cafeteria programs aim to support the principles of food sovereignty within communities by bringing local fish into schools, hospitals and other institutions.

Also, check out NAMA’s “Who Fishes Matters” campaign, which aims to raise public awareness and connect fishers, consumers, businesses, activists and more in the effort to change policies and protect fleet diversity.

Updated 11/2014