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Towards sustainability: A framework for evaluating portuguese small-scale fisheries

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Portugal has a historical tradition in fisheries, and its small-scale fishery (SSF) communities are the backbone of the national industry. There have been increased concerns about the state of fisheries and fish resources, particularly the sustainable performance of fishing sectors. In light of this aspect, understanding economic, social, environmental, and governmental aspects is a key element in assessing sustainability. Given the relevance of the fishing industry in Portugal, it is paramount to understand if the Portuguese SSFs are sustainable. This study aims to develop a contextualized indicator framework for SSFs’ sustainability with economic, social, environmental, and governance dimensions. Further, we developed a systematic literature review to evaluate Portuguese SSFs using such a framework. Of the list of suggested 31 indicators (8 economy, 9 social, 12 environmental, and 8 governance), 1394 published references were recovered from the systematic review for Portuguese SSFs. Results suggests that Portugal must improve socioeconomic and environmental data and strengthen governmental support for a sustainable fishing industry. In particular, understanding fishers’ financial stability and ecological knowledge and promoting further studies on fisheries’ impact on the marine environment is essential. Overall, the qualitative list of indicators provided represents an innovative and unique framework for evaluating fisheries’ sustainability in different worldwide settings.



Small-scale fisheries Indicators Sustainability Portugal SDG 14


Sustainability 16 (8): 3174 (2024)

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