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EDF Launches Sustainable Fisheries Toolkit

EDFEnvironmental Defense Fund has launched a Fisheries Toolkit to help fishermen and seafood companies design and implement management systems to restore the sustainability and profitability to fisheries around the world.

EDF says the toolkit provides low-cost, cutting-edge and replicable solutions to help fishermen and fishery managers achieve economic and ecological recovery, even in fisheries lacking adequate data.

According to a 2012 study in Science80 percent of global fisheries lack important data for stock assessments, a critical first step toward sustainable fisheries, EDF says. EDF’s toolkit includes a guide dedicated to bridging this gap.

The toolkit includes more than a dozen design, planning and educational features such as:

  • An updated catch share design manual that aims to guide fishermen and fishery managers through a step-by-step process to design catch shares, an approach to managing fisheries that allocates secure areas or shares of the catch to participants.
  • A dedicated volume on designing cooperative catch shares, which includes in-depth guidance on effective co-management of fisheries.
  • A dedicated volume on designing territorial use rights for fishing, including concepts for addressing the unique challenges of nearshore fisheries.
  • Guides on science-based management for fisheries that have limited data and transferable effort share programs, a form of rights-based management that has served as a stepping stone towards more effective, long-term management solutions.
  • More than a dozen in-depth reports on fisheries worldwide that have customized catch shares to meet their goals.
  • searchable database of global catch share fisheries, accessed through an interactive map (pictured).
  • “What’s the Catch?,” an online game that allows players to captain their own vessel and experience the ups and downs of commercial fishing.

Last week, a World Bank panel called on big and small business to join governments and the science community to help reverse damage to the world’s oceans.

The panel of 21 experts, which include CEOs from some of the largest seafood companies in the world including Thai Union Frozen Products, Bumble Bee Foods and High Liner Foods, says only an integrated approach that involves public-private partnerships can effectively turn around the declining health of oceans. Without action, the consequences for economies, communities and ecosystems will be irreversible, the panel says in its report.

In July, a six major seafood companies launched Sea Pact, an industry coalition aimed at advancing environmentally sustainable fisheries and aquaculture practices. The companies currently making up Sea Pact aim to financially contribute to the fishing and fish farming systems from where they source their seafood in a bid to improve their sustainability.

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