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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Impact Evaluation of GEF/UNDP Support to Protected Areas and Protected Area Systems

June 27, 2013

This evaluation will assess the impact of GEF/UNDP investments in terrestrial protected areas and protected area systems, especially seeking evidence from countries or landscapes where the supported areas can be compared with those lacking such support, or receiving other types of intervention. This evaluation will understand by impact as the positive and negative, primary and secondary long-term effects produced by a development intervention, directly or indirectly, intended or unintended. The evaluation will analyse how different management and governance approaches, in particular the extent of community engagement, impact on the achievement of GEF objectives in protected areas. The evaluation seeks to provide insights into how future interventions and support can best contribute to the sustainable management of protected areas as a contribution to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. It will also assess the extent to which support has promoted human well-being as a necessary condition for the effective management of protected areas and immediately adjacent landscapes, and the factors and conditions affecting the interaction between human livelihood objectives and biodiversity objectives.

CoopeTárcoles, Costa Rica. Equator Initiative Case Study Series

January 1, 2012

The artisanal fishers of the community of Tárcoles, located in the Gulf of Nicoya on the Pacific coast of North America (Central America)-Costa Rica; faced declining fish stocks due to a combination of overharvesting by commercial shrimp boats and unsustainable local fishing practices. At the same time, development of the tourism sector along the coast threatened to restrict access to the shore and to marginalize their work. The local fishing cooperative Coope Tárcoles R.L. was founded in 1985 to confront these twin threats. At the forefront of these efforts has been the development of fishing bylaws that stress sustainable practices, enshrined in the community's 'Code of Responsible Fishing'. In partnership with CoopeSolidar R.L., the initiative launched a sustainable and community-based ecotourism venture in 2007 to provide an alternative source of income for local residents. In 2009, meanwhile, the group was successful in gaining approval of a community-managed marine area.