Fish Forever began in Belize, Brazil, Indonesia, Mozambique, and the Philippines with support from the Environmental Defense Fund and the University of California, Santa Barbara. The project showed that small-scale fisheries could be made sustainable, community livelihoods could be improved, and biodiversity could be protected. But having a successful pilot, Rare knew, was only the first part of making the program a worldwide success. They had to have a program that would work everywhere, helping communities revitalize their communities.
We worked with Rare’s Fish Forever initiative to find a solution that paired reserves where fishing is not permitted with rights-based management of local fishing grounds. Additionally, we developed a comprehensive Report and Scale Testing Framework for the five pilot countries to test hypotheses, variances and methodologies, and then recommend next steps.
Fish Forever has become Rare’s largest, most comprehensive conservation effort in just a few years. This now global program—in a total of 72 communities across five countries—engages in coastal areas where a combination of economics, nutrition, and culture are impacted by the success of their fisheries. The organization seeks to continually boost the effectiveness and efficiency of programs by improving the “cost per impact” of its programs.