Since Our Oceans Conference in 2023, the Conservation International, Ocean Outcomes, and Wildlife Conservation Society collaboration has made measurable progress towards our commitment to advance triple-bottom line sustainability improvements in small-scale, coastal fisheries across the globe. Following Our Oceans Conference, we convened in Portland, Oregon to co-design our strategic priorities for the next three years:

1. Enhance partnerships across SSF Communities and Organizations;

2. Build a Shared Approach to Human Rights;

3. Strengthen our Proven Model;

4. Enable Funding and Investment Access for SSF.

Working towards enhancing partnerships across SSF communities and organizations, the partnership is planning a peer-to-peer knowledge exchange in Costa Rica for 25 coastal women leaders from around the world to cultivate an enduring network and mentorship program of coastal women leaders from diverse cultures and backgrounds. In partnership with Costa Rican, Colombian and French ministries, we are also co-convening a dialogue at the Costa Rica 2024 UN Ocean Pre-Meeting between coastal women leaders and their ministers on priority topics identified during the knowledge exchange. We hope these efforts will lead to the co-development and presentation of a high-level position statement on behalf of coastal women leaders at the France 2025 UN Ocean Meeting, building political momentum for setting a global agenda to close gender gaps in coastal economic sectors, conservation, and management, and fortifying women’s leadership role.

Working towards building a shared approach to human rights, we continue to work together on advocating for governments, seafood markets, and conservation organizations to adopt a human rights-based approach, as evidenced in the recent publication in the journal of Marine Policy: Insights from a community of practice: integrating human rights in fisheries improvements. We are also committed to actioning the "Rules of Conduct for working with small-scale fishers and fishworkers to save our oceans" and sharing the Rules of Conduct with our peers and leadership, at our respective organizations. Working towards strengthening our proven model,  our organizations have been co-designing a strong theory of change and scaling strategy for our Community Fishery Improvement Project model together with Foundations of Success. Our joint implementation of the Community Fishery Improvement Project model continues to drive positive impact for coastal communities. For example, in Costa Rica, fishing associations committed to sustainable harvesting are linked directly to restaurants committed to responsible sourcing and paying fair prices, resulting in a 40-95% increase in participating fishers' income and more than six tons of local and sustainable seafood sold to restaurants and consumers. Looking forward to 2024 and 2025, we hope to unlock opportunities to enable greater funding and investment access for SSF communities. Together, we seek to make large-scale funding accessible to frontline groups, and scaling local capacity to do so in the future.

Yue Ren

Scaling Holistic and Human Rights-Centered Approaches to Small-Scale Fisheries

March 2023 Partnership Announcement 

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