Empowering Peruvian Artisanal Fishing Communities to Earn a Fair and Sustainable Income

Sustainable Fishery Trade to ensure fair pay and promote sustainable fishery practices for 5,000 artisanal fishers in Perú and Chile by 2021
Jul 12, 2019 10:00 AM ET
Press Release

LIMA, Perú, July 12, 2019 /3BL Media/ – Social enterprise Sustainable Fishery Trade (SFT) has committed to empowering 5,000 fishers in Perú and Chile by improving practices to protect the sustainability of fishing, and connecting artisanal fishers directly to buyers to provide fair and dependable sources of income.  SFT made the declaration as the organisation officially joins the Business Call to Action (BCtA), with the aim of meeting their goals by 2021.

Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power (in 2015 dollars) as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

As marine fisheries contribute more than US$270 billion dollars annually to global GDP, it is clear that fishing is one of the most lucrative food-based sectors internationally. The industry, however, is at risk because of climate change, poor waste management, oil and other chemical spills, and overfishing.

These challenges have the most impact on small fishing communities, who are unable to compete with large marine fisheries that are more resilient to industry shocks. Fishermen and women therefore accept low pay for their fish, as they do not have the bargaining power individually. This low compensation, and the rapidly decreasing fish population based on environmental dangers, leaves artisanal fishing communities unsure of their source of income and the sustainability of their career.

Globally, countries are working to increase the sustainable use of marine resources, and some states are transitioning to using the blue economy concept that seeks to promote the connection between economic growth, social inclusion, and the environmental sustainability of the oceans and coastal areas. However, it is becoming clearer that a more targeted approach is needed for artisanal fishing communities.

CEO of Sustainable Fishery Trade , Simone Pisu, explained that in 2016, the idea to create an enterprise that would use this focused approach was born, and SFT became the first Peruvian social enterprise to empower artisanal fishermen and women by connecting them with customers using technology, therefore disrupting the traditional supply chain while promoting sustainability of marine resources.

“Because we connect fishermen directly with their buying audience, whether they be restaurants or retail outlets, they receive between 30%-50% higher income for their effort, in comparison to working with traditional buyers. SFT also encourages conservation practices by offering training in sustainable harvesting to fishing communities, supplying products from different coves, and ensuring traceability,” said Pisu.

SFT has signed on to the BCtA as it seeks to participate in the global movement to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with their focus placed on SDGs 1,4,12 and 14. These goals align with the enterprise’s mission to end poverty in fishing communities, ensure sustainable consumption of ocean and marine resources, and promote inclusion by incorporating at least 500 women in the artisanal sea food supply chain process. 1500 of the aforementioned 5000 fishermen will also join SFT officially by 2021 as suppliers.

Looking at SFT’s commitment to support the SDGs as part of the BCtA, Pisu said “From the inception of our organization, our belief has been centred on the power of relationships between artisanal fishermen and end users if we all share a vision of sustainability of products from the sea. We have realized that our work aligns with the SDGs, and as a partner in the BCtA, we will be working towards making a better life for fishing households in Perú and Chile, while contributing to the sustainability of our world.”

Acting Head of BCtA, Sahba Sobhani, noted that SFT was providing a much-needed solution that would have a long-term impact for fishing communities in Latin America.  She said, “It is true that we are facing a crisis with the use of our ocean resources, but all hope is not lost. With organisations like SFT, and other international collaborative efforts, we can use our oceans in a more efficient way that sustains not only our livelihoods, but preserves the earth’s natural resources. I am pleased to welcome SFT to the Business Call to Action initiative, and I look forward to partnering with them as we work to meet the SDGs, and to support small fishing households.”

For further information: 
BCtA: aimee.brown@undp.org    
Sustainable Fishery Trade: simone@sftlatam.com
BCtA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.

About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UK Department for International Development (DFID), and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org

About Sustainable Fishery Trade: Sustainable Fishery Trade (SFT) is the first Peruvian social enterprise that empowers artisanal fishers through technology, connecting them directly with restaurants and final customers, breaking the traditional supply chain, and recognizing the fisherman's effort while promoting sustainability of marine resources.  For more information visit https://sftlatam.com/ .