7th General Assembly of WFFP (Nov 15-21, 2017)

L-R Naseegh Jaffer, Nadine Nembhard, T.Peter (S.I.P)
T.Peter was the General Secretary of the National Fishworkers Forum(NFF) at the time WFFP held its 7th GA. He passed away in October 2020 due to Covid-19. He is remembered by his WFFP family.

Please find GA report:


The 7th General Assembly of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP GA-7) jointly hosted by WFFP and the National Fishworkers Forum (NFF), India has been going on in New Delhi from 15th November. The Closing Ceremony and Valedictory Function was held on 20th November 2017 at 5pm at the NDMC Convention Centre, New Delhi.

Over the last five days, the delegates from more than 50 countries of WFFP along with members of the NFF from nine coastal states of India attended sessions which had presentations by all member countries on the status of fisheries and detailed workshops on issues of Ocean Grabbing, Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines, Food Sovereignty and Agro-Ecology and Inland Fisheries. The Delhi declaration of WFFP GA-7 drawn from these detailed sessions was presented by Christiana (newly elected Gen. Sec, WFFP) was presented at the valedictory function. This year also marks the election year of the WFFP and the new Coordination Committee members was declared by the Election Committee and Nadine Orchid Nembhard was elected its General Secretary, while Moises Osorto Caceres and Christiana Louwa were elected as Co-chairs. Leo Coloco (NFF Maharashtra), Mohammed Ali Shah (Pakistan) and Herman Kumara (Sri Lanka) are the South Asian representatives.

Dr Shashi Tharoor (Member of Parliament) congratulated the WFFP for the much needed declaration and asserted the need to also protect the primary access rights of resources to the traditional fisher people. He recollected how he had made the demand with the UPA government to have a separate Ministry of Fisheries and detailed the need to have it instituted.

Medha Patkar (Naramda Bachao Andolan and National Alliance of People’s Movement) shared how assertive the farmer’s rally that happened at Parliament Street today had been and defined farmers as that which encompasses women, dalits, adivasis and fishworkers as well. She added that Shashi Tharoor, as the MP of Thiruvananthapuram should demand that Vizhinjam project that is hazardous to the lives of livelihood of thousands of people be scrapped.

Prafulla Samanthra (Winner of Goldman Environmental Prize Award 2017) stated the need of forming alliances: both at the local level and the global levels, by movements. He pointed out that fishworkers should fight for something like the Forest Rights Act and ensure that it is implemented for the benefit of the traditional natural resource dependent communities.

WFFP denounced the decision of Government of India to discourage participation from members of Pakistan Fishworkers Forum at the WFFP GA-7. WFFP also raised concerns regarding the construction of the Rampal Power Plant at Rampla Upazila in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh, which threatens the ecology and livelihood of fishers in the region. WFFP also supports NFF’s agitation against the Sagarmala Programme of the Government of India which is an assault on livelihood of fisherpeople.

GA-7 highlighted the many commonalities between issues faced by fishing, peasant and indigenous communities – especially among women and youth – who are all food producers dependent on natural resources for their lives and livelihoods. The WFFP along with delegates from numerous allied organizations from around the world – including the World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers (WFF) and La Via Campesina (LVC) unanimously declared “the sovereignty of the traditional, natural resource-based communities over the land, water-bodies and oceans of the world.” The GA-7 detailed the crisis that they face through extractive industries, the expansion of big infrastructure projects, as well as capital-intensive fisheries, aquaculture and agriculture.

The declaration highlighted the impact that climate change due to sea level rise, floods, coastal storms, increasing water temperatures, loss of aquatic biodiversity, and forced displacement has on fishing communities. The GA-7 condemned the application of false mitigation solutions, such as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and blue carbon initiatives which often lead to “land, water and ocean grabbing” and opposed the justification of resource grabbing framed as ‘sustainable development’, ‘blue growth’ or the ‘beautification’ of our ocean, land and water territories. The GA-7 also stressed the need for taking important and powerful steps toward achieving gender equity in their communities, and in fisheries sectors globally.

Naseegh Jaffer (Ex-Gen. Sec. WFFP) wished Ms. Nadine Orchid Nembhard (Gen. Sec. WFFP) and congratulated the WFFP Coordinating Committee to take forward the fight for the rights of fisherpeople. T.Peter (Gen. Sec., NFF Kerala) and Leo Colaco (WFFP India) also addressed the gathering. The cultural performance by Murasu Kalai Kuzhu (Tamil Nadu) and other groups from Maharashtra, Kerala and West Bengal reiterated the motto of WFFP GA-7, “We are the Ocean; We are the People”.

The World Fisheries Day 21st November will be celebrated by a rally and Public Meeting at Parliament Street tomorrow, from 10 am onwards. WFFP and NFF will jointly participate in this rally.

WFFPSliders-GAPrevious General Assemblies

 6th General Assembly

1-6 September, 2014

Held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Hosted by Masifundise.

Full report of the 6th General Assembly: WFFP_GA6_REPORT

Compte-rendu de la 6ème Assemblée générale du WFFP: GA6 2014 Compte-rendu

Informe de la 6 ª Asamblea General del Foro Mundial de Pueblos Pescadores: GA_6_REPORT_ES

Adopted Decisions

Pictures: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4.

Interviews: The WFFP talks to a variety of it’s members from all around the world discussing the unique challenges that they face in their country.

Welcoming Address: Mr Bongo, the Chairperson of Masifundise, welcomes the attendees of the 6th WFFP General Assembly.

Opening Speech: Ms. Maria Hoffman, founding member of Coastal Links South Africa, and Board Member of Masifundise, delivered a speech on the devastating effects that  the Individual Quota System in South Africa had on small-scale fishing communities.

Tribute to Thomas Cocherry: Speech given by friend and colleague Andrew Johnston to the General Assembly.

Closing Speech: Delivered by the South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Senzeni Zokwana. Minister Zokwana if also a Member of Parliament and President of the South African Communist Party.

Presentation by Ms. Jackie Sunde of the ICSF. Jackie has previously co-authored papers on fishers rights with WFFP General Secretary Naseegh Jaffer and presented to the 6th GA the transformative agenda in the context of the SSF Guidelines.

Keynote Speech delivered by Associate Professor Seth Macinko of the University of Rhode Island. His presentation warns the General Assembly of the hijacking of their language by the forces that look to privatise the world’s oceans. As PDFOn Youtube.

Mads Barbesgaard, Chairperson of Danish solidarity organisation Afrika Kontakt presents the issues of the global ocean grab and the mechanics that drive this destructive process. As PDF: On Youtube.

Nicole Franz from the FAOs Fisheries and Aquaculture Department talks about FAOs perspective of the implementation of the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines. As PDF: On Youtube.

PLAAS Seminar at the WFFP GA: Presentation by Nicole Franz on the Global Significance of the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines. Presentation by Moenieba Isaacs on the the importance of the International Guidelines on small-­scale fisheries in ensuring food security. 



5th General Assembly

27-30 April 2011.

Held in Karachi, Pakistan.

Read the Report of 5th General assembly 


4th General Assembly

29 November – 3 December 2007

Held in Negombo, Sri Lanka.

Read the Report of 4th General Assembly

3rd General Assembly

November 21-27 2004.

Held in Kisumu, Kenya.

Read the Report of 3rd General Assembly

See the Auditors Report from the 3rd General Assembly

 2nd General Assembly

October 2000.

Held in Locturdy, France.

 1st General Assembly

21 November, 1997.

Held in Delhi, India.


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