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Fishery scientists have ignored SSFs because of the difficulty in assessing their resources with modern fishery science methods and the reluctance in dealing with the multidisciplinary approaches required, with strong gendered economic and social components.
Small fish species are considered as a cheap source of protein to most coastal communities their fat-rich nature make them vulnerable to organic and in organic pollutants. Although the extent of contamination is more pronounced in large fish then in small fish species
Within local communities, land tenure systems, traditional authority and different forms of power asymmetries and conflicts can exclude specific groups’ access to coastal land, such as migrants or women needing land for fish processing activities.
Restrictive measures and forceful evictions in the name of conservation, privatization of coastal areas, along with harassment and confiscation of fishing boats and other gear have become frequent events.