Artisanal fisheries & aquaculture

Sharing the inspiring stories of small-scale and artisanal fishers, fish farmers, and fish workers reshaping our oceans, rivers and lakes to build a more sustainable future.

Join The Storytelling Lab

The Storytelling Lab

2022 is the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA2022).

The Lexicon and GSSI are launching a global call to action. Through a storytelling lab comprised of training modules and mentorship, we’re here to celebrate the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 (IYAFA 2022) and support creatives, storytellers, and activists in local communities.

To empower and support small-scale artisanal fishers, fish-farmers and fish workers around the world, we invite you to join a storytelling and activation lab to create stories about the visionaries safeguarding the future of our oceans.

The Oceans need a voice.

Seafood is the highest traded food commodity in the world, providing 3.1 billion people with their primary source of protein. Unfortunately, unsustainable and intensive fishing and aquaculture practices are  impacting aquatic ecosystems, threatening biodiversity, and contributing to climate change, with these negative impacts felt in communities across the globe. Sustainable management of fisheries and aquaculture production systems is vitally important to feed a growing global population and to safeguard the health of our oceans and planet.

Small-scale producers are significant contributors to global seafood production, but many barriers prevent them from accessing the tools needed to grow, become more sustainable and improve the livelihoods of their communities. Making and sharing stories of small-scale seafood producers using sustainable principles and practices can help ensure a more sustainable seafood sector. This is the mission of A Greener Blue

You are the solution.​

By bringing your talents to A Greener Blue you can play an integral role in this initiative.  In one short week long webinar, The Lexicon’s Storytelling Lab will provide a select group of photographers, writers, video and podcast makers with the tools and skills to build a global movement in defense of our oceans. Participants will join forces to tell a cohesive story of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture, ocean activists, fisherpeople and fish farmers as part of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture. 

Your stories will be part of a massive changemaking event, and contribute to building a globally accessible, open sourced,  sustainable seafood platform that encourages stakeholders to implement key practices to build a more sustainable seafood model and improve livelihoods globally. Together, we are the solution!

Storytelling Lab

The virtual classroom portion of the Storytelling Lab online certificate program will take place from August 22 – August 26, 2022, with a select group of participants receiving GoPro cameras courtesy of GoPro for a Cause.

Participants in the initiative will receive online training on The Lexicon’s Total Storytelling method, joining a virtual classroom experience designed to accommodate multiple time zones and languages. During the course, fisheries experts and guest speakers will share the principles and practices of sustainable seafood, while The Lexicon’s production team will support each storyteller in building their own production plan, which includes story feedback, art direction and technical support.

Those interested in the initiative can apply on A Greener Blue’s website. Only 50 applicants will be accepted for the program, and selection will take place between August 15 and August 17.

Selected exercises from The Lexicon's AGB Storytelling Playbook

Twenty GoPro Cameras to be distributed among the participants of the Lab

Select storytellers from all over the world will receive GoPro cameras to keep and will be trained to document their own stories of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture. In addition, their collective effort will generate documentaries and stories that will show what success looks like when we are building a greener blue.

GoPro makes it easy for the world to capture and share itself in immersive and exciting ways. GoPro cameras are the ideal tool for capturing engaging stories in and on the water, and we’re excited to equip storytellers in communities with small-scale artisanal fishers, fish farmers, and fish workers in more than a dozen locations, including Indigenous communities, from Peru, Norway, Spain, UK, Japan, South Korea, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Fiji, and the Mediterranean area.

What we will create

A Greener Blue’s storytellers will produce short films and photo essays across the globe; these will provide a unique opportunity to create a truly participatory, diffused and crowdsourced documentary series about our seas, rivers, lakes while showing how (and who) success looks like when it comes to building a greener blue.

Traveling events and exhibits
To reach the widest audience, we collaborate with initiative partners on developing traveling exhibits and events across the globe, beginning with the closing event of the IYAFA in early 2023.

Online Platform
Our stories will live on Seafood MAP, a globally inclusive digital knowledge sharing platform designed to help fisheries and aquaculture operations down the pathway to sustainability.

Example of stories created by past participants in The Lexicon's Storytelling Labs


27th June 2022

Launch of the Call to Action

27th June 2022
15th August

Application close

15th August
22 to 26 August

Storytelling Lab

22 to 26 August
26 August – 13 October

Production period

26 August – 13 October
14th OCTOBER 2022

Deadline for submissions of the stories and footage

14th OCTOBER 2022
January 2023 (Date TBD)


January 2023 (Date TBD)

People for A Greener Blue

The Lexicon, the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI), and the United Nations’ International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA) have partnered to present A Greener Blue, a global storytelling initiative to support artisanal fisheries and aquaculture.

100+ organizations participate in A Greener Blue, The Lexicon’s food systems solutions activator (Green Brown Blue) that gathers food companies, NGOs, government agencies and scientists to show how small-scale artisanal fishers, fish farmers and fish workers can reshape the face of our oceans and seas and, therefore, our future. 

A Greener Blue Storytelling Lab is led by The Lexicon’s Chief Lexicographer, Douglas Gayeton. Participants in the storytelling initiative will be selected by a jury of decision makers made up of leadership from A Greener Blue’s coalition partners.

Join a bold, new online community for anyone who cares about building more resilient, inclusive food systems.

Contact us

Please share your comments and questions and get a response from a real person!

Eligibility, Submission Terms and Conditions


A Greener Blue Global Storytelling Initiative is sponsored by The Lexicon, a US based 501(c)(3) public charity.


Storytellers will join A Greener Blue Storytelling Collective to create stories for the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture with the FAO and its partner organizations. Members of the Collective will take part in a private online “Total Storytelling Lab” led by The Lexicon’s Douglas Gayeton. Upon completion of this online certificate program, members of the Collective will join seafood experts from around the globe in creating A Greener Blue Storytelling initiative.


Who can enter and how selections are made.

A Greener Blue is a global call to action that is open to individuals and teams from all over the world. Below is a non-exhaustive list of subjects the initiative targets.

  • Creatives and storytellers with a passion for food and the willingness to support small-scale fisherpeople and experts worldwide. This category includes, but is not exhausted in photographers, videomakers, illustrators, podcasters, and writers.
  • Food Activists working to change open sea fishing and aquaculture; 
  • Members of fishing and indigenous communities that support their communities, share their stories and protect their way of life;
  • Local and International NGOs work every day with actors across the whole value chain to create more sustainable seafood models.

To apply, prospective participants will need to fill out the form on the website, by filling out each part of it. Applications left incomplete or containing information that is not complete enough will receive a low score and have less chance of being admitted to the storytelling lab.

Nonprofit organizations, communities of fishers and fish farmers and companies that are seeking a closer partnership or special support can also apply by contacting and interacting with the members of our team.

Special attention will be given to the section of the form regarding the stories that the applicants want to tell and the reasons for participating. All proposals for stories regarding small-scale or artisanal fishers or aquaculturists, communities of artisanal fishers or aquaculturists, and workers in different steps of the seafood value chain will be considered.

Stories should show the important role that these figures play in building a more sustainable seafood system. To help with this narrative, the initiative has identified 10 principles that define a more sustainable seafood system. These can be viewed on the initiative’s website and they state:
Seafood is sustainable when:

  • it helps address climate change
  • it supports global ecosystems
  • it optimizes impact on resources and nutrient cycles.
  • it promotes a safe growing environment for safe food sources.
  • it advances animal welfare.
  • it enhances flavor and nutrition.
  • it builds resilience and self-sufficiency in local communities.
  • it prioritizes inclusion, equality, and fair treatment of workers.
  • it preserves legality and the quality and the story of the product throughout the value chain.
  • it creates opportunities along the whole value chain.

Proposed stories should show one or more of these principles in practice.

Applications are open from the 28th of June to the 15th of August 2022. There will be 50 selected applicants who will be granted access to The Lexicon’s Total Storytelling Lab. These 50 applicants will be asked to accept and sign a learning agreement and acceptance of participation document with which they agree to respect The Lexicon’s code of conduct.

The first part of the lab will take place online between August the 22nd and August the 26th and focus on training participants on the foundation of storytelling, supporting them to create a production plan, and aligning all of them around a shared vision.

Based on their motivation, quality of the story, geography, and participation in the online Lab, a selected group of participants will be gifted a GoPro camera offered to the program by GoPro For A Change. Participants who are selected to receive the GoPro camera will need to sign an acceptance and usage agreement.

The second part of the Storytelling Lab will consist of a production period in which each participant will be supported in the production of their own story. This period goes from August 26th to October 13th. Each participant will have the opportunity to access special mentorship from an international network of storytellers and seafood experts who will help them build their story. The Lexicon also provides editors, animators, and graphic designers to support participants with more technical skills.

The final deadline to submit the stories is the 14th of October. Participants will be able to both submit complete edited stories, or footage accompanied by a storyboard to be assembled by The Lexicon’s team.

All applicants who will exhibit conduct and behavior that is contrary to The Lexicon’s code of conduct will be automatically disqualified. This includes applicants proposing stories that openly discriminate against a social or ethnic group, advocate for a political group, incite violence against any group, or incite to commit crimes of any kind.

All submissions must be the entrant’s original work. Submissions must not infringe upon the trademark, copyright, moral rights, intellectual rights, or rights of privacy of any entity or person.

Participants will retain the copyrights to their work while also granting access to The Lexicon and the other partners of the initiative to share their contributions as part of A Greener Blue Global Storytelling Initiative.

If a potential selected applicant cannot be reached by the team of the Initiative within three (3) working days, using the contact information provided at the time of entry, or if the communication is returned as undeliverable, that potential participant shall forfeit.


Selected applicants will be granted access to an advanced Storytelling Lab taught and facilitated by Douglas Gayeton, award-winning storyteller and information architect, co-founder of The Lexicon. In this course, participants will learn new techniques that will improve their storytelling skills and be able to better communicate their work with a global audience. This skill includes (but is not limited to) how to build a production plan for a documentary, how to find and interact with subjects, and how to shoot a short documentary.

Twenty of the participants will receive a GoPro Hero 11 Digital Video and Audio Cameras by September 15, 2022. Additional participants may receive GoPro Digital Video and Audio Cameras to be announced at a later date. The recipients will be selected by advisors to the program and will be based on selection criteria (see below) on proposals by Storytelling Lab participants. The selections will keep in accordance with Lab criteria concerning geography, active participation in the Storytelling Lab and commitment to the creation of a story for the Initiative, a GoPro Camera to use to complete the storytelling lab and document their story. These recipients will be asked to sign an acceptance letter with terms of use and condition to receive the camera. 

The Lexicon provides video editors, graphic designers, and animators to support the participants to complete their stories.

The submitted stories will be showcased during international and local events, starting from the closing event of the International Year of Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 in Rome, in January 2023. The authors of the stories will be credited and may be invited to join.

All selection criteria

Storytelling lab participation:

Applicants that will be granted access to the storytelling Lab will be evaluated based on the entries they provided in the online form, and in particular:

  • The completeness of their form
  • The relevance of their story (coherence with the main goal of the initiative and 10 principles)
  • Written motivation explained
  • Geography (the initiative aims at showcasing stories from all over the world so the mix of locations will be a factor that the selection committee will take into account)

Applications will be evaluated by a team of 4 judges from The Lexicon, GSSI and the team of IYAFA (Selection committee).

When selecting applications, the call promoters may request additional documentation or interviews both for the purpose of verifying compliance with eligibility requirements and to facilitate proposal evaluation.

Camera recipients:

Participants to the Storytelling Lab who will be given a GoPro camera will be selected based on:

  • Quality of the story (coherence with the initiative and the 10 principles)
  • Motivation demonstrated during the interaction in the online class
  • Participation in the online class (participants that will attend less than 4 classes will be automatically excluded)

The evaluation will be carried out by a team of 4 judges from The Lexicon, GSSI and the team of IYAFA (Selection committee).

Incidental expenses and all other costs and expenses which are not specifically listed in these Official Rules but which may be associated with the acceptance, receipt and use of the Storytelling Lab and the camera are solely the responsibility of the respective participants and are not covered by The Lexicon or any of the A Greener Blue partners.

All participants who receive a Camera are required to sign an agreement allowing GoPro for a Cause, The Lexicon and GSSI to utilize the films for A Greener Blue and their promotional purposes. All participants will be required to an agreement to upload their footage into the shared drive of The Lexicon and make the stories, films and images available for The Lexicon and the promoting partners of A Greener Blue.

Additional Limitations

Selection and distribution of the camera is non-transferable. No substitution or cash equivalent of the cameras is granted. The Lexicon and its respective partners and representatives are not responsible for any typographical or other errors in the offer or administration of the Initiative, including, but not limited to, errors in any printing or posting or the Official Rules, the selection and announcement of any selected participant, or the distribution of any equipment. Any attempt to damage the content or operation of this Initiative is unlawful and subject to possible legal action by The Lexicon. The Lexicon reserves the right to terminate, suspend or amend the Initiative, without notice, and for any reason, including, without limitation, if The Lexicon determines that the Lab cannot be conducted as planned or should a virus, bug, tampering or unauthorized intervention, technical failure or other cause beyond The Lexicon’s control corrupt the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper play of the Contest. In the event any tampering or unauthorized intervention may have occurred, The Lexicon reserves the right to void suspect entries at issue.