The ocean hosts a dazzling array of life and serves as an invaluable natural resource, all the while contributing 2.3 million jobs and $138 billion annually to the U.S. economy alone. By 2025, an estimated 6 billion people will live within 50 miles of the sea around the world. How will all these people live and eat, while protecting marine resources for future generations? Well-managed fisheries will play a huge role.
At Ecotrust, we invest in fisheries networks and local organizations that actively pursue innovation in the stewardship of fisheries, marine ecosystems and watersheds.
Our approach to resilience in fisheries, ecosystems, and communities is one that starts with the connection between people and place. We work to strengthen the conservation of regional marine and freshwater ecosystems, recognize and improve community stewardship, support the livelihoods of fishermen, grow collaborative businesses, create financing mechanisms for community-based fisheries, and evolve fisheries management policies. As these features take hold, coastal communities and their unique cultures and fisheries products have a more compelling brand story in urban markets. And we will help tell that story.
How We Work
We co-coordinate the Community Fisheries Network, a national coalition of local organizations that are committed to marine fisheries stewardship that strengthens business development, creates accountability, and increases the amount of local seafood products from well-stewarded waters.
Our Copper River program works to network the efforts of local and tribal organizations to change salmon harvest and hatchery practices, and protect salmon habitat and river flows in one of Alaska’s most fertile salmon watersheds.
We collaborate with the Whole Watershed Restoration Initiative, which targets high-priority salmon habitat restoration projects in the Pacific Northwest, and leverage the lessons learned in salmon habitat protection and restoration for application elsewhere in the region.
We work with our Marine Consulting Initiatives team to provide technology tools to fishing communities that facilitate transparent stewardship.
We work to secure national and regional policy and management frameworks that allow fishing communities to retain access to fisheries and the assets of fishing. We participate on a National Policy Panel to strengthen public finance policy, lending strategies, and the deployment of New Markets Tax Credits that support the acquisition and development of fisheries quota, permits and local seafood processing by community organizations.
In the arena of finance, we also created the North Pacific Fisheries Trust, a revolving loan fund that supports the long-term ownership of fisheries quota within community-based organizations.
- We convened a National Panel on the Community Dimensions of Catch Shares, which released its report in March 2011.
- Our 2010 report Fair Catch laid out 10 ways the Pacific Fishery Management Council could better its trawl fishery catch share program to meet the economic, social and ecological requirements of the nation’s fisheries law.
- The Groundfish Fleet Restructuring Project, assessed options for the reduction of fishing capacity from a coast-wide port and community perspective, in the context of important issues such as future fleet diversity, social impacts, and small business viability.
- We were the first to map North American Pacific salmon stocks across their North American range: Salmon Nation 1999;
- The State of the Salmon program, created with the Wild Salmon Center, extends our stock status research to cover the entire range of salmon in the North Pacific.