Blue Justice Alert: An Interactive Platform for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries

Lay Summary 

The stakes have never been higher for small-scale fisheries: they face countless challenges such as poverty, food insecurity, access issues, gender inequity, resource depletion, habitat degradation and inequitable resource allocation. More recently, small-scale fisheries are being threatened by ‘blue economy’ and ‘blue growth’ initiatives – while these initiatives may lack a unifying definition, they have been criticized for being economic strategies that prioritize economic growth over sustainability. This situation is further convoluted by climate change, in unprecedented and ever-growing ways.


However daunting, we must tackle these challenges heads on. And the way we can do this is by implementing socially just responses, built on a comprehensive understanding of the natural, social and political systems that small-scale fisheries are entrenched within. For that reason, Too Big To Ignore has been bringing the notion of ‘Blue Justice’ in the forefront, as a way to call attention to fairness and equity for the most marginalized and vulnerable fishing people. ‘Blue Justice’ acknowledges the historical rights of small-scale fishing communities to marine and inland resources, and coastal space, as traditional users. As a movement, ‘Blue Justice’ seeks to investigate pressures on small-scale fisheries, from other ocean uses, including industrial fisheries, coastal/marine tourism, aquaculture, energy production and others. At its core, Blue Justice encompasses social justice and human rights principles whilst being intrinsically tied to principles of environmental and climate justice.


Adapted from:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: New Frontiers in Research Fund
Newfoundland and Labrador
Fishing Industry
Start date 
1 Jul 2019
End date 
1 Jun 2023