New open access article of Julia Nakamura (SCELG and One Ocean Hub member) analyses the normative significance of the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines

Mar 2022 — SCELG member and One Ocean Hub researcher Julia Nakamura has published an open-access article titled ‘Legal Reflections on the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines: Building a Global Safety Net for Small-Scale Fisheries’ in the International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law. This article builds upon Julia’s PhD research and critically examines the normative significance of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF Guidelines), endorsed in 2014 by States Members of the Committee on Fisheries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 


Based on the international law theories of soft law, Julia argues that the SSF Guidelines, despite its voluntary nature, has legal force and normative significance, which stem from its legitimate process of development and adoption, the normative content of its provisions, and the law-making effects produced through policy and legal instruments adopted at international, regional and national levels of governance. After a thorough analysis of the SSF Guidelines in relation to these three key points, Julia highlights the areas for future research and the challenges of the guidelines’ implementation, monitoring and enforcement. 

Julia presented this article (before its official publication) in the session ‘Small-scale fisheries – basket case or benefit basket’ of the World Fisheries Congress held virtually in September 2021. This article is a timely contribution to both international law and small-scale fisheries literature in 2022, which has been designated the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture

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