• Multi-sector Collaboration in Hake Fishery

    The Environmental Defense Fund in Mexico has been working with the fishing sector in the upper Gulf of California and policy makers to develop secure fishing rights in the industrial hake fishery. This fishery, located around Puerto Peñasco, is relatively new and has much potential, but is currently poorly managed with few regulations. EDF and the fishing sector have been collaborating to generate scientific data that allows fisheries managers to both understand fishery dynamics and design effective management. In addition to working with fisheries managers, EDF is working with policy makers to create a set of regulations that will effectively manage the resource as well as create incentives for the fishing sector to protect their resources. Finally, EDF is collaborating with fish buyers and processors to better understand market conditions for hake products and how to improve the quality and value of the end products. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to ensure the sustainability and profitability of the hake fishery, which could then serve as a model for other industrial finfish fisheries in the region. 

  • Working with Fishers to Overcome Management Inefficiencies in Peru’s Artisanal Fisheries

    Artisanal and small-scale fisheries in Peru are important providers of livelihoods for fishers as well as food security for the nation – more than 40,000 fishers are directly employed by this sector, and nearly 80% of the seafood consumed in Peru comes from these fisheries. Despite their importance, obstacles including a lack of information on fisheries, weak governance, limited market access, and limited capacity for producing value-added products have led to overharvested stocks and destructive fishing practices.

    In order to improve fisheries management in small-scale fisheries, The Nature Conservancy is collaborating with Peru’s Ocean Institute IMARPE to engage the fishing communities of Ancon with a pilot project that promotes new approaches for fisheries management in the country. These approaches include: 1) using science to support fishermen-led reform for sustainable fisheries; 2) establishing access rights to local fishing grounds; 3) increasing the capacity to carry out data-poor stock assessments that allow for setting sound harvest rules; 4) increasing access to sustainable seafood markets; and 5) fostering partnerships to encourage national policy reform.

    The initial results are encouraging. Providing fishers with access to science-based monitoring and evaluation techniques has enabled them to be more confident in the outcomes of the pre-agreed harvest control rules and make management decisions based on empirical measurements. As a result they are seeing empowered fishers with a commitment to sustainable use of their resource. 

  • Exploration Vessel Nautilus Heads to the Galápagos

    Juan Mayorga (LAFF 2016) has joined the team of the Exploration Vessel E/V Nautilus on its current expeidition through the Panama Canal and to the Galápagos. The E/V Nautilus will spend six weeks of its current six month expedition exploring the Galápagos Rift Region. The E/V Nautilus is a 64-meter research vessel operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust, which was founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert Ballard (Titanic-discoverer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence). The Nautilus Exploration Program focuses on biology, geology, and archeology as they relate to marine science. The exploratoin can be followed live on the Nautilus website.

  • Corvina golfina catch shares

    Just over three years ago, EDF, fishermen, and critical partners including Noroeste Sustentable (NOS), the Academy for Systemic Change, and the state and federal governments, set out to bring catch share management to this fishery to give fishermen and others a stake in its biological and economic success. In 2012 a new system was put into place: a scientifically-based Total Allowable Catch (a limit on the amount of fish that can be caught) was published ahead of the season, and the first-ever co-management agreements were brokered in the largest fishing community – Golfo de Santa Clara, which represents roughly 80% of the total catch – that included a price agreement and a per-tide, per-skiff allocation. 

    The Golfo de Santa Clara community saw immediate improvements and this success has sustained for three seasons. Since establishing the agreement, fishermen have received significantly higher prices for their catch. And while only bringing in half the volume of what they did previously, their revenue increased because demand and prices remained high throughout the season. But most importantly, when surveyed, 63 percent of curvina fishermen said they believed the new program benefits the fishery.


  • Fish processors

    Spotlight Ecuador

  • Lagoon at sunset

    Spotlight Belize

  • School of yellow fish

    Spotlight Mexico