V2V Global Partnership: From Vulnerability to Viability

Small-scale fisheries (SSF) support over 90 percent of the 120 million people engaged in capture fisheries globally. They also contribute two-thirds of the global fish catch destined for direct human consumption, and provide critical contributions to food security, poverty alleviation, and local and national economies. Most SSF communities are economically marginalised, increasingly vulnerable to climate and environmental change, and, until recently, they have remained largely invisible in global and national policy debates. However, the prognosis is not all negative. SSF possess certain strengths and forms of resilience upon which to build viable solutions to combat food insecurity and poverty. Transitioning SSF from vulnerability to viability (V2V) is a crucial area of study. The goals of the V2V Global Partnership are to: (1) critically examine diverse factors and conditions contributing to the 'vulnerability' of SSF; and (2) engage collaboratively with SSF communities and other key partners (e.g., NGOs, governments, universities) to enhance SSF viability. We use the term viability not just in an economic sense but also to include social, political, and ecological aspects of SSF. Four specific objectives guide the research and activities of the partnership: (1) To co-produce a comprehensive understanding of both the sources of vulnerabilities experienced by SSF, and their inherent and potential capability to enhance viability; (2) To develop a database and resource portal of V2V case studies and those from elsewhere to integrate and mobilize the knowledge produced; (3) To engage in transdisciplinary (TD) capacity development of SSF communities, governments, NGOs, civil society actors, and the academic community to enable them to co-create and implement innovative solutions to move from vulnerability to viability; and (4) To compare and synthesize experience between and across study sites, scaling up the insights for broader impact through the development of national and regional policy recommendations, program interventions, and governance arrangements that support viable, community-led SSF initiatives. Five global working groups and twelve country teams (six each in Asia and Africa) provide a foundation for V2V research and knowledge mobilization. V2V case study sites represent approximately 40 percent of the world's population. We draw on integrative theory and apply an established framework for comparative analysis - I-ADApT (Assessment based on Description and responses and Appraisal for a Typology) - to contribute to theory building, methodological innovation, and to strengthen national and international policy for SSF. The application of a common approach in each case study site follows rigorous social science methods finalized through research co-design with partners. Our Partnership is global. 95 members of V2V represent 31 universities, 15 government institutions, and 21 NGOs from 22 countries. The V2V Partnership will support transdisciplinary training opportunities for 52 students and career early researchers, a unique Fellows Program to support 20 South-South collaboration, the development of curricula for training with academic and civil society partners, and the development of an open-access information system and global resource portal to provide a powerful resource for global SSF research, policy, and action.