A majority of the world’s fish stocks are fully exploited or overexploited at a time when 37 percent of the global population (~2.8 billion people) lives in coastal communities. Many of these communities depend on the health of the oceans for their livelihoods, and the issue of overfishing is as much a human problem as it is an environmental one. Reducing overfishing requires both better business practices and natural resource conservation.
Our work happens where people, technology, science, business and finance collide. With deep knowledge of the seafood industry, we build collaborations of stakeholders. And with them, we identify and plug gaps in the system, leverage existing resources and build actionable platforms that incentivize engagement.
Our approach centers on making connections. On bringing fishing communities, funders, seafood businesses and others to the table to tap into the freshest ideas out there. For us, innovation never manifests as a silver bullet. It means carefully crafted solutions that are rooted in system forces, strategic alignment and scalability.
We are a diverse group including design thinkers, entrepreneurs, business consultants and scientists. Together, we’re more than the sum of our parts. Our work is sharpened by our diversity—in experience, in background, and in thought. As a team, we’re thirsty for a challenge and thrive when tackling some of the world’s most complex problems.
In March, a group of notable Peruvian chefs and fishermen got together on Zoom to discuss how they can work together to solve challenges they face with marine resources. We also invited fishers and chefs from Mexico, Chile and South Africa to share solutions towards sustainable fishing and responsible consumption.
Workers in small scale fisheries make up over 90% of all seafood employees. These small fisheries, spread from Chile to Belize to Vietnam, catch 50% of the seafood eaten around the world. Small scale fishing can be a hard life — long days on the water, stock fluctuations due to climate change or overfishing, and often low prices. Still: fishing is a lifestyle, a living, a tradition, and a way to support families and communities. For small scale fishers who want to improve their practices, modernize their operations, or make changes to ensure they’re fishing sustainably, support and resources can be hard to come by. We’re out to change that.
Meet Jenni. Originally from Penobscot, Maine, she now lives on the Northern coast of Peru in the small fishing town of Los Organos where she has built her home and lives happily by the sea with her four dogs. Jenni studied International Development Studies with a double minor concentration in global health and Latin American studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. While at Dal she studied abroad at the The Galapagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences through Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador to study Marine Biology, Conservation and the Anthropology of a unique archipelago off the coast of Ecuador.
Oscar has more than 10 years of experience in rural development and project management, specifically focused on two models: The Small-Scale Agriculture Model (SSAM) and the Self Development District Model (SDDM), both implemented in several communities in the coast and highlands of Piura, Peru. He has created strategic alliances with Regional Governments, Municipalities, Universities, Companies and other NGO’s to expand the reach and impact for the rural families to improve their lives.
Claudio is a marine biologist from south-central Chile where he has developed his work with artisanal fishing communities engaged in diving and small-scale fishing. He has promoted fishery certification projects, direct marketing of seafood products, small-scale aquaculture and community tourism with the aim of seeking alternatives for fishery diversification to improve the quality of life of artisanal fishermen.For Claudio, social innovation is a key driver in the search for alternatives that help improve the quality of life of artisanal fishermen and other disadvantaged groups in society. Q: How did you find your way into marine issues?
At Future of Fish, we collaborate with governments and international experts to design, implement, and finance lasting and equitable fisheries data collection and analysis systems. While no two projects ever look the same, a combination of work on the ground and in-depth research over the past three years has allowed us to uncover some commonly occuring barriers, opportunities, and best practices for this process that cross geographies and stakeholders.