Sustainable Fisheries

Special Collection

Worldwide, small-scale coastal fisheries contribute significantly to providing food, employment, and incomes to many very poor people. But these same fisheries, and the ecosystems upon which they rely, are under increasing threat from a combination of climate change, pollution, over-fishing, and the exploitation of resources.


Fisheries management has been a major component in trying to address some of these issues, but with limited global success. The potential of fisheries, if managed well, is considerable but what form that potential will take will depend on how and why fisheries are managed.


This collection of reports and presentations explores just this question, describing some of the challenges faced by small-scale fisheries worldwide and their efforts to address these challenges and improve the health and well-being of the people who are dependent on these threatened environments.


The collection brings together the "grey literature" of the field, valuable work that is not readily available through academic journals and databases but is instead spread across dozens of organizational websites. This set of reports was initially identified as part of a synthesis review of key lessons commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation's Program on Oceans and Fisheries. We are pleased to make it more easily available for others to use and build on and encourage researchers and practitioners to add relevant work to the collection.

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The Mariscos Strategy : An Investment Blueprint for Small-Scale Fisheries in Chile

January 11, 2016

Encourage Capital has worked with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Rockefeller Foundation to develop an impact investing strategy supporting the implementation of sustainable fishing improvements in a portfolio of small-scale, multispecies fisheries in Chile. The Mariscos Strategy is a hypothetical $7.0 million impact investment to protect seven small-scale fisheries along the Chilean coastline. The $7.0 million would fund the implementation of fisheries management improvements across the fisheries, and be used to expand an existing consumer packaged goods company producing gourmet "heat-and-eat" meals for Latin American consumers. The Mariscos Strategy is focused on generating an 11.1% base case equity return, while simultaneously protecting the multispecies stock biomass from current and future overfishing, enhancing almost 550 fisher livelihoods across seven fishing communities, and safeguarding the supply of over 5 million meals-to-market annually.

Catch Shares in Action: Chilean National Benthic Resources Territorial Use Rights for Fishing Program

January 1, 2013

Among the largest area-based catch share programs in the world, the Chilean National Benthic Resources Territorial Use Rights for Fishing Program (TURF Program) includes over 17,000 artisanal fishermen comanaging over 550 distinct areas along the coast. The voluntary system primarily manages loco, Chile's most valuable mollusc, and provides secure access to benthic resources to groups of artisanal fishermen. Management is built on science performed by universities and consultants, resulting in co-management by the government, industry and the private sector.

Rights and Legal Frameworks

Towards Sustainable Fisheries Management: International Examples of Innovation

January 1, 2010

Fisheries change often carries its own financial rewards. Many reforms and changes which support conservation also result in higher profits and revenue streams for the involved businesses. This makes fisheries a potentially attractive investment arena for many commercial investors, once reform projects are properly structured and agreed upon between conservationists and the involved businesses. As commercial investors and social investors become more involved in the field of fisheries, the scale of the impacts that can be achieved is expected to expand. Foundations in the field are now looking to support this transition from fisheries conservation as a purely philanthropic investment to a blended conservation and business investment by encouraging non-profits, social change leaders and business entrepreneurs to create innovatively structured projects that can both build value for private investors and improve the speed and scale of fisheries conservation impacts. This report aims to support this transition, by providing information about and high-lighting the work of those at the forefront of innovative fisheries finance.

Management of the Loco (Concholepas concholepas) as a Driver for Self-governance of Small-scale Benthic Fisheries in Chile

January 1, 2008

WRI led the "Reefs at Risk Revisited" analysis in collaboration with a broad partnership of more than 25 research, conservation, and educational organizations. Partners have provided data, offered guidance on the analytical approach, contributed to the report, and served as critical reviewers of the maps and findings."