Our Work Protecting Global Fisheries
Millions of fishers take to the oceans each day to feed local communities and a growing global appetite for seafood. Their catch and livelihoods are part of a $190 billion global seafood industry. In all, seafood now makes up 16 percent of the animal protein we consume and that demand is expected to double in the next two-decades. The challenge we now face is how to sustainably produce enough fish to meet this demand while maintaining healthy oceans with sharks, whales, turtles and other important marine life.
Our fisheries work is based on a proven track record of partnering with fishermen and the fishing industry in collaborative projects that use science, technology and policy to advocate for access rights to fishing grounds for local fishermen and links their fishing to markets that value sustainable products. We believe that by engaging with fishermen, seafood companies, communities and policymakers in collaborative projects worldwide we can ensure that fishermen do not have to choose between either making a living today or ensuring that their livelihoods last far into the future—they can do both— have a sustainable business while protecting and restoring fish habitat.
Our work to secure fisheries reform is bolstered by our longstanding conservation presence in Indonesia, China, Peru, Chile and the U.S., countries that account for more than 40 percent of global wild caught fish and in our other key demonstration sites around the globe.
The Conservancy is working with fishermen in the Gulf of Maine to develop more sustainable fishing practices – small changes are yielding good results for fishermen and the health of the ocean.
Together with fishermen in California, The Conservancy is using technology to fish more efficiently and to avoid overfished species. Collectively we developed eCatch an online mapping and data gathering tool that allows fishermen to document their fishing activity and to share that information with other participating fishermen.
New techniques piloted by The Conservancy are providing simple, low-cost methods for assessing fish stocks. Using a minimum amount of data collected by fishers themselves, Palau fishers can implement better management that will put Palau fisheries on the road to recovery.
The Conservancy is working with fishing communities, government and the seafood industry in Chile’s Humboldt Current to improve the economic and environmental performance of artisanal fisheries.