Most small-scale fisheries lack the data needed to make informed management decisions. To empower coastal communities in the developing tropics to sustainably manage their own marine resources, we partnered with Rare and the Environmental Defense Fund on the global Fish Forever initiative. Fish Forever works to catalyze change across nearshore tropical fisheries and, to date, the program has been launched in the Philippines, Indonesia, Belize, Mozambique, and Brazil.
Fish Forever works with fishing communities to create TURF-Reserves (Territorial User Rights for Fishing combined with no-take marine reserves), a spatial resource management strategy that combines the benefits of rights-based fisheries management and marine reserves. In order to maximize and sustain its impact, Fish Forever couples proven social marketing techniques with incentive- and science-based management approaches to motivate local pride in marine stewardship and support for TURF-Reserves. To support the Fish Forever initiative, we invested in research and development and tested a variety of approaches to identify the best strategies for successful and scalable TURF-Reserve design and management, helping ensure the long-term sustainability of small-scale fisheries around the world.