Competition Announces Innovative Solutions to Reduce Coastal Overfishing

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WASHINGTON —The World Bank Coastal Fisheries Initiative – Challenge Fund (CFI-CF) today announced the winners of its competition for collaborative solutions to overfishing. They demonstrate the power of collaboration between seafood value chain actors with common goals. The competition sought applicants from Cabo Verde, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Peru who submitted thirty proposals.

The four winners and four runners-up outlined original approaches for how their coalitions will reduce overfishing, improve sustainable fishing practices, and increase incomes of fishers and others in value chain. They focus on diverse approaches, tailored to local conditions, such as sustainable product marketing, improved fishing equipment and practices, and supply chain initiatives to build the seafood industry and consumer support. The winning solutions (listed below) are described here on SolutionsToOverfishing.org.

Overfishing is among the biggest challenges threatening the health of the world’s oceans, the livelihoods of millions living in coastal communities, and the business opportunities of seafood and related industries. Each year, global fisheries lose out on $83 billion in economic benefits due to overfishing (World Bank “The Sunken Billions Revisited”), a sum that could instead be productively reinvested in people, communities, and economies. Limited coordination among fishers and seafood stakeholders has blocked the development of viable solutions to overfishing, resulting in the continued loss of natural resources and economic benefits.

“The Coastal Fisheries Initiative – Challenge Fund decided to pilot the format of a knowledge competition to crowdsource knowledge, experience, and ideas to tackle the problem of overfishing. Engaging coalitions of seafood value chain actors was important to us for two reasons: Because these actors have the best knowledge on the ground of the local fisheries and the market, and because we believe that unconventional partnerships can spark unconventionally brilliant innovations,” said Mimako Kobayashi, Senior Environmental Economist at the World Bank, who led the CFI-CF and its Global Knowledge Competition

Prior to final judging, eligible applicants received mentoring and coaching support to strengthen their approaches and coalitions to improve their solutions and increase their chances of being recognized by the competition. Winners and runners-up will participate in a virtual event designed to share knowledge and experience in advancing productive and sustainable coastal fisheries.

These solutions will be presented to the World Bank’s network of financial and development partners seeking to execute the innovations with new funding and other resources. The coalitions will also receive dissemination support from the World Bank and acceleration services to improve and implement their solutions from post-competition partners.

The CFI-CF project is part of the Coastal Fisheries Initiative (CFI), a collaborative, global effort funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and led by FAO.

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