Serge Raemaekers


I am a fisheries researcher at the interface between natural and social sciences.
I have more than 15 years’ experience in aquaculture and capture fisheries, was integrally involved in the development of the South African Small-scale Fisheries Policy, and have consulted on the development of the FAO’s international Small-scale Fisheries Guidelines.
My research work engages with systems thinking and fisheries governance practice with the aim to recommend governance models and management approaches that are more applicable to small-scale fishers ‘realities. My interests are small-scale fisheries governance, co-management, fisheries information systems, socio-economic research, Climate Change vulnerabilities and adaptation, and community participation and conservation.
I work closely with fishworkers and fisher leaders along the coast as I aim to champion and transform stakeholder driven processes of knowledge generation. Most of my work is centered on social learning processes with local small-scale fishers, with the aim to ensure that the communities’ knowledge; needs and vision are adequately captured and incorporated in any planning and decision-making processes.
I am a proud member of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers.
In 2015, I launched the ‘Abalobi’ initiative in South Africa (http://www.abalobi.info). The Abalobi initiative is an open, transdisciplinary and social learning endeavour, bringing together various stakeholders, with traditional fishers taking centre stage. It is a participatory action research project with a strong community development interface. Abalobi, as a free mobile app and programme, is aimed at social justice and poverty alleviation in the small-scale fisheries chain, transformation in the way we produce knowledge, stewardship of our marine resources, and resilience building in the face of Climate Change.