Last week, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced the launch of what it’s calling the world’s most comprehensive toolkit for designing and implementing management systems that can restore the resiliency, sustainability and profitability of fisheries around the world.
“Global overfishing is a 21st century problem that people have been trying to fix with 20th century solutions,” said Kate Bonzon, Director of EDF’s Catch Share Design Center. “Our toolkit provides low-cost, cutting-edge and highly replicable solutions to help fishermen and fishery managers achieve economic and ecological recovery, even in fisheries lacking adequate data.”
According to a recent study in Science, 80% of global fisheries lack important data for stock assessments, a critical first step toward sustainable fisheries. EDF’s toolkit includes a guide dedicated to bridging this gap, providing fishermen and managers with key resources and expertise.
EDF has worked for decades alongside fishermen and fishery managers to end overfishing by developing proven fishery management solutions. Developed in conjunction with more than 80 global experts, the toolkit reflects the experience of successful and diverse fisheries around the world. It highlights pragmatic solutions to pressing problems and provides guidance that fishermen and managers can use to navigate the administrative hurdles they often face.
“We believe access to helpful, easy-to-use tools is key to developing sustainable and profitable fisheries,” said Amanda Leland, Vice President for EDF’s Oceans Program. “And we want to ensure these tools are readily available to managers and fishermen around the world.”
“Each year, poor governance costs the global fishing industry as much as $50 billion,” said Michael Arbuckle, Senior Fisheries Specialist for the World Bank. “EDF has developed a valuable tool that can help fisheries managers create economic and social benefits for the many fishers and communities dependent on the resource for their future."
Online at fisherytoolkit.edf.org, the toolkit features more than a dozen design, planning and educational guides, including:
- An updated Catch Share Design Manual that guides fishermen and fishery managers through a step-by-step process to design catch shares, an approach to managing fisheries that allocates secure areas or shares of the catch to participants
- A dedicated volume on designing Cooperative Catch Shares, which includes in-depth guidance on effective co-management of fisheries
- More than a dozen in-depth reports on fisheries, from Samoa to Spain, that have customized catch shares to meet their goals
- A searchable database of global catch share fisheries, accessed through an interactive map
“I needed advice on how to suggest management decisions for the Prawn fishery in Sweden and the design manual has been my guide,” said Peter Olsson, a Swedish fisherman who catches Norwegian lobster and herring out of Smögen, Sweden.
In August, EDF released another innovative tool it co-developed with AT&T — The Building Water Efficiency toolkit — which gives organizations simple, cost-effective resources to build their own water efficiency programs and includes both technical and management tools to design, implement and document water savings.