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Deepening economic resilience & sustainable fishing practices around the world

Brett Jenks
McNulty Prize

Marine habitats are collapsing around the world. But in places around the world where Rare is helping local fishing communities take control, we’re seeing them rebound. Under the leadership of its CEO, Conservationist Brett Jenks, Rare launched the Fish Forever program in 2012 to reverse the global decline of small-scale fisheries and tropical marine habitats. Central to its success has been empowering local communities to protect and manage the resources they depend on, so that both people and nature can thrive. Rare continues to scale Fish Forever and deepen the economic and climate resilience of fishing communities by investing in new technology, providing access to capital, building networks of coastal communities and local leaders, and advocating for community co-management.

The aim isn’t to teach a community to fish; it’s to help ensure they can fish forever.

Brett Jenks

brett-jenks-crop.jpg#asset:1643Brett Jenks has built an extensive career in global conservation. Before joining Rare in 1995, Brett built indigenous ecotourism enterprises in Latin America and helped local communities develop plans to manage community resources. In his more than two decades as the CEO of Rare, Brett has led an impressive expansion of Fish Forever around the world, and has introduced and scaled new methods of joining conservation and community development.

Around the world, coastal communities depend on fishing for food, income, and their way of life. However, poor or ineffective management of fishers has opened the door to unsustainable or destructive fishing practices. This results in environmental degradation, over-fishing, and inconsistent returns.

Fish Forever communities in 8 countries across the globe
people depend on small-scale fisheries for their livelihood
people in fishing households are flourishing because of Fish Forever programs

Rare’s comprehensive Fish Forever model has made incredible progress in combating an underrecognized issue. The venture’s innovative tools include systems for communities to co-manage their fisheries, which include setting aside reserves where fish populations can rebound, a smartphone app for fishers and fish buyers to collect and share data between stakeholders, and innovative financial strategies like Savings Clubs, which encourage savings and reduce the pressure to overfish.

Fish Forever is making a big impact, in a traditionally underrecognized area of conservation. While 64% of global fisheries are overfished, less than 12% of global ocean philanthropy over the past ten years went to solving coastal overfishing. Fish Forever is taking a new approach to combating this issue - giving power back to local communities and enabling them to manage sustainable fishing practices independently.

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