Small-scale capture fisheries (SSF) generate food and income for millions of people, yet these benefits are underreported, undervalued and under threat from a range of social, ecological and political drivers. The Resilient Small-scale Fisheries Symposium brought together WorldFish and partners in the CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-Food Systems to critically reflect on the role of research in contributing towards resilient SSF and outcomes such as reducing poverty, fostering greater environmental sustainability, facilitating gender and social equity, improving livelihoods, and increasing food and nutrition security. This proceedings serves as a brief summary of the Symposium where 40 summaries of ‘research for development’ illustrate the breadth and depth of work being undertaken in diverse and dynamic SSF systems. Research described here spans more than 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Pacific and SSF systems operating in coral reef ecosystems, coastal pelagic waters, rice-fields, rivers, large inland lakes, and constructed (‘manmade’) water bodies. Research approaches range from those using large, global data sets to local single-community case studies, historical accounts of changes in fisheries systems to forward-looking scenarios of food production, national-level assessments of governance capacity to accounts of participatory processes used to navigate conflict and build governing capacity, and gender-transformative approaches applied to “classic” fisheries management and development initiatives. Drawn from deliberations at the Symposium, the proceedings includes some critical opportunities for research for development to effectively secure and enhance the benefits that SSF provide.