A Social Wellbeing in Fisheries Tool (SWIFT) to Help Improve Fisheries Performance

Journal Article

Abstract: We report on a rapid and practical method to assess social dimensions of performance in small-scale and industrial fisheries globally (SocialWellbeing in Fisheries Tool (SWIFT)). SWIFT incorporates aspects of security (fairness and stability of earnings, benefits of employment to local fishing communities, worker protection, and personal safety and health in communities associated with fisheries); flexibility (including opportunity for economic advancement); and the fishery’s social viability (including whether the fishery is recruiting new harvesters and diverse age classes of workers, whether women’s participation and leadership in global production networks are on an upward trajectory.). We build on resilience research by conceptualizing wellbeing in terms of security, flexibility, and viability, and assessing wellbeing at individual, community, and system levels. SWIFT makes social performance measures more broadly accessible to global production networks, incorporates an everyday understanding of wellbeing for people involved in the seafood industry, and helps put social sustainability into measurable terms that are relevant for businesses.

Citation: Van Holt, T., Weisman, W., Johnson, J.C., Käll, S, and J. Whalen 2016. A Social Wellbeing in Fisheries Tool (SWIFT) to Help Improve Fisheries Performance. Sustainability 8: 667. doi:10.3390/su8080667

Keywords: fisheries improvement; corporate social responsibility; social sustainability; seafood, supply-chain, well-being, global production networks