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Indigenous Peoples’ Customary Fishing Rights: Key Issues And Input From The Expert Meeting On Indigenous Peoples And Fisheries

Publisher: Danish Institute for Human Right & IWGIA
Number of pages: 56
Publication language: English
Region publication is about: Artic, Ártico, Latin America, América Latina, Asia, Asia, Africa, África, Oceania, Oceanía
Release year: 2023
Release Month | Day: june

Tags: Climate, Human rights

Indigenous Peoples have a deep connection with aquatic ecosystems and resources. For fishing-dependent indigenous communities, fishing is not just an occupation and fish is not just a commodity. Fisheries are the basis for – and an integral element of - their cultures, spiritual beliefs, traditional knowledge and food systems. However, the distinct rights of Indigenous Peoples in the context of fisheries are generally not well understood or recognized.

Indigenous Peoples’ rights in the context of fisheries are still not well understood or reflected in laws and policies. Consequently, there are numerous examples of Indigenous fishers being criminalized for simply practicing their customary fishing rights. This may be further aggravated if the establishment of Marine Protected Areas and other conservation measures are undertaken without the meaningful participation of Indigenous Peoples, and without the consideration for their traditional knowledge.

This report provides an overview of key issues related to the impacts of fisheries governance and relevant policies on the rights of Indigenous Peoples in regard to traditional fishing and suggests targeted entry points for advocacy.


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IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting and defending Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Read more.

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Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for Indigenous Peoples worldwide. Read The Indigenous World.

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