Artisanal fishing (or traditional/subsistence fishing) are various small-scale, low-technology, low-capital, fishing practices undertaken by individual fishing households (as opposed to commercial companies). Many of these households are of coastal or island ethnic groups. These households make short (rarely overnight) fishing trips close to the shore. Their produce is usually not processed and is mainly for local consumption. Artisan fishing uses traditional fishing techniques such as rod and tackle, fishing arrows and harpoons, cast nets, and small (if any) traditional fishing boats.
Artisan fishing may be undertaken for both commercial and subsistence reasons. It contrasts with large-scale modern commercial fishing practices in that it is often less wasteful and less stressful on fish populations than modern industrial fishing.
Artisan fishing boats and gears
A traditional dug out canoe between 3–18 meters long is used in Nigeria for artisanal fishing. Artisanal fishers in this area use gear that included, "cast nets, handlines, basket traps, longlines, set gillnets and beach and purse seines."
Hundreds of millions of people around the world rely on artisanal fisheries to live. Artisanal fishing is critically important for not only food, but for jobs, income, nutrition, food security, sustainable livelihoods, and poverty alleviation as well. Artisanal fisheries are the predominant form of fisheries in "tropical developing countries" such as Nigeria.
The importance of artisanal and small-scale fisheries have been recognized in the first internationally agreed instrument dedicated entirely to small-scale fisheries. This agreement, drafted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is titled the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication and was implemented in 2015 .
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- "Los Hombres del Lago", a documentary film by Aaron I. Naar presenting the story of the smallest Bolivian fishing community of Uru-Muratos, Puñaca Tintamaria. Narrated by the community's ex-leader, Daniel Moricio Choque, the movie recounts the history of their community, customs, and current problems: their continuous poverty, lack of land and representation, the contamination of Lake Poopó, and the impact of global warming. See a 12 minutes fragment from the film on YouTube.
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- What is Artisan Fishing