By: Emilie Litsinger & Lito Mancao (Director, Technical Operations, Rare Philippines)
Photo: Rare Philippines
The communities of Tinambac and Cantilan recently approved the first ever TURF+Reserve designs in the Philippines. This accomplishment follows months of hard work by the Fish Forever team and our talented on-site coordinators, and collaboration with the local government units, village leaders, key agencies, and, most importantly fishers, and community members.
This effort is part of the Fish Forever (FF) program: a collaboration of EDF, Rare, and the Sustainable Fisheries Group at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) that empowers fishing communities in the developing tropics to manage their near-shore fisheries with a proven, sustainable management approach called TURF+Reserves. In the Philippines, the goal of FF is to create a network of TURF+Reserves both within municipal waters (0-15km) and between adjoining municipalities.
These are historic milestones for the communities of Tinambac and Cantilan for many reasons. Engaged communities and fishers laid the groundwork for sustainable fisheries management by working through and discussing their options to land on a design that works for them and meets their needs. Read More
Catch shares, a fishery management system that gives fishermen a secure share of the catch in exchange for increased monitoring and greater accountability, represent a substantial change from the way U.S. fisheries have been managed in the past.
Well-designed catch shares – particularly when they include accumulation limits – can provide safeguards for small boat fishermen, their families, and their communities. Because these are the people who are hurt most when fisheries collapse, EDF believes it is imperative to ensure that management programs take the needs of both fish and fishermen into account. Catch shares are uniquely suited to do so in a number of ways that conventional fishery management plans could not.
For example, conventional fishery management plans typically call for shortened seasons and even closures when overfishing or other factors deplete stocks. This unpredictability of management can endanger smaller operators more than bigger ones, since they may not have the flexibility to weather the changes. Because catch shares usually allow fishermen to operate all year long, they provide far greater job stability for fishermen, who know in advance how much fish they can catch during the season and what their needs will be at any given time. They can spread their catch out over the year, avoiding the gluts that occur when everyone brings in their catch at once and timing trips to maximize the price they’ll earn for that catch. Some fishermen are working directly with processors so they are fishing for species that are most sought-after at the most desirable times, earning the highest price per fish. Read More
Fishing Boats in Chatham, MA
Photo by John Rae
On EDFish, we’re often discussing the virtues of catch shares and the progress we’re making working with fishermen to achieve sustainable fisheries. It’s nice to see others take notice of the importance of rebuilding American fisheries and making sure their not only sustainable, but economically viable.
This week, catch shares got some attention from the editors at Bloomberg. In their editorial, “Teach an Industry to Fish and Maybe it will Survive” catch shares were held up as the “best alternative” to managing our fisheries in a way that’s fair to fishermen and ensure sustainability. They affirm that carefully designed catch shares deserve more attention and widespread implementation. Read More
Posted in Domestic Also tagged Catch Shares