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This goal measures whether people who need to fish on a small, local scale have the opportunity to do so. 

Half the world’s fish harvest is captured by artisanal fishing families. 

Goal Score

77 The goal score for Goal: Artisanal Fishing Opportunities is 77 out of 100. The global average score is 71 out of 100.

Likely Future State


It is estimated that in the near future the score for Goal: Artisanal Fishing Opportunities will improve roughly +11%.
global score


What Does This Score Mean?

The reference point for Artisanal Fishing Opportunities is that all demand for artisanal fishing is allowed and/or achieved and that the fishing is done in a way that doesn't compromise future fishing resources.

A high score indicates that the demand for artisanal fishing is being met using lawful and sustainable methods (to the extent that this can be determined). A low score indicates that regions are not achieving or allowing sustainable artisanal fishing opportunities to be realized.

Global databases are not sufficiently detailed to estimate whether fish are present for artisanal fishermen to catch. Where available, that information can be incorporated into independent assessments.

Current Score
The current score indicates that most regions are addressing and meeting the needs that people and communities have to fish artisanally by implementing government policies that permit or encourage them to do so and providing appropriate access to near-shore areas.  

Why Are Artisanal Fishing Opportunities Important?

Artisanal fisheries are traditional fisheries involving fishing households (as opposed to commercial companies), using relatively small amount of capital and energy, relatively small fishing vessels (if any), and making short fishing trips, close to shore, mainly for local consumption (FAO 2012).  

This goal focuses solely on opportunities for artisanal fishing rather than the amount of fish caught (covered in the Food Provision Goal) or the household revenue earned (covered in the Livelihoods and Economies Goal). 

More Information


Jacquet, J. and D. Pauly. 2008. Funding priorities: big barriers to small-scale fisheries. Conservation Biology 22, 832–835).
Mora, C. et al. 2009. Management effectiveness of the world’s marine fisheries. PLoS Biol 7, e1000131.

Schorr, D. 2005. Artisanal fishing: promoting poverty reduction and community development through new WTO rules on fisheries subsidies.

FAO. 2008. Small-scale capture fisheries - A global overview with emphasis on developing countries: A preliminary report of the Big Numbers Project. (FAO, World Bank, World Fish Center: 2008).

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