(3 out of 7) people rely on seafood as their primary source of animal protein
Nearly 4% of the world’s population – mostly in the developing world – rely directly on fisheries for their livelihoods
Half of the world’s seafood is produced by aquaculture
One-third of the world’s wild-caught fisheries are depleted because of overfishing, pollution and the effects of climate change. In some places, stocks have declined or collapsed due to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing — hitting the coastal communities that rely on seafood for food and income the hardest.
As fish populations have dwindled, the aquaculture — or fish farming — sector now accounts for more than half of worldwide seafood production. Yet some aquaculture practices have degraded coastal ecosystems, polluting the oceans with waste and destroying critical habitats.
Conservation International is addressing these issues from ocean to plate, helping to sustainably improve food security and livelihoods for the billions of people who need fisheries to survive.
Demand for seafood is rising due to population growth, rising affluence and globalization. New technologies have enhanced our ability to pull more fish from the oceans, while pollution and habitat degradation are depleting or sickening the fish populations that remain.
Conservation International protects biodiversity and improves the wellbeing of ocean-dependent communities by implementing sustainable fisheries and aquaculture solutions built on partnerships and investments from ocean to plate.
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No fishery has the same set of challenges, so Conservation International creates tools and partnerships to identify and address the unique ecological, social and economic needs and barriers for each fishery in which we work. We focus on coastal fisheries across nine countries to empower ocean-dependent communities to create the sustainable fisheries and aquaculture that they need to thrive.
How we do it
Conservation International deploys its scientific expertise to tackle critical issues surrounding sustainable fisheries management, ecosystem health and biodiversity conservation. We also work to promote social responsibility in fisheries and aquaculture by developing best practices for seafood sourcing and reducing uncertainty in the private sector.
Our goal is to enhance human well-being while reducing the adverse impacts of fishing on the environment. In the Pacific, we work with partners to improve local food security and management of tuna, using innovations in technology and harvesting methods as well as regional monitoring and surveillance. In small-scale fisheries we implement governance reform and market-based solutions, providing the tools, incentives and financing to help transition fisheries from overexploitation to sustainability.
Conservation International’s fisheries projects around the world:
Conservation International’s aquaculture program aims to transform farmed seafood, focusing on demonstrating sustainable fish farming in selected areas. Our work emphasizes sustainable, low-impact, high-productivity aquaculture; restoring overexploited and endangered aquatic species and no net loss of coastal ecosystems; and transforming markets and supply chains to increase demand for sustainably farmed products.
From the blog
© Keith A. Ellenbogen
© CI/Julius Thonak
© Gary Stokes
© CI/photo by Johnson Rakotoniaina
© Polsin Junpangpen
Vice President, Marine, Asia-Pacific Field Division
Dr. Mark Erdmann’s work largely focuses on the management of marine protected areas, as well as research on reef fish and mantis shrimp biodiversity, satellite tracking of endangered sharks and rays, and genetic connectivity in MPA networks.
Vice President, Marine & Lead for Sustainable Landscapes and Seascapes, Field Delivery
Scott Henderson is a conservation and marine management practitioner with field experience as a researcher and consultant, primarily in Latin America. Scott founded the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape program and is responsible for developing multi-country marine strategies and building awareness of marine conservation issues.
Director, Marine Program, Conservation International-Brazil
Guilherme Dutra leads a series of initiatives to support the implementation and expansion of the Marine Protected Areas network in the Abrolhos region and other parts of Brazil. Dutra has coordinated efforts to increase the knowledge and recognition of the importance the Abrolhos coral reefs, as well as developing management solutions that influence marine conservation in the country.
Director, Conservation International-Costa Rica
Dr. Marco Quesada Alpizar specializes in marine conservation, marine policy, and fisheries policy and management. Marco has been involved in the creation of Costa Rica’s largest marine protected area through the Costa Rica program, as well as designing and implementing policies for Costa Rica’s National Maritime Enforcement Strategy.