In order to advance both the mapping and theorizing of transnational law, this article considers a range of tactics used by small-scale fisheries (SSFs) in Europe and North America to improve market access, political influence, and legal recognition. Transnational law enables the framing of initiatives not only as implementation practices that occur as a result of international law, but also as transnational regulation in support of SSFs. The article uses the case study of SSFs to draw attention to the rise of ‘transnational localism’. This is defined as the reinforcement of local-specific approaches (reflecting local ecologies, values, and socio-economic specificities) within a transnational structure that provides support and recognition. It offers an alternative to the view that globalization necessitates global, uniform regulatory solutions. Transnational localism challenges the fascination with large certification schemes such as that administered by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in fisheries governance. It implies a need to reconcile transnational challenges with heterogeneous values and community approaches. To capture the simultaneous demand for the local and transnational within transnational law, this article proposes treating the described empowerment tactics within the scope of transnational standards. This requires a rethinking of standards away from fixed technical rules that are uniformly applicable across the globe.