The estimated 120 million small-scale fishers in tropical fishing communities are among the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world. They face even higher rates of poverty and malnutrition as the marine ecosystems they depend on are increasingly threatened by industrial fishing, pollution, and climate change.
Blue Ventures partners with small-scale fishers and local organizations to address overfishing, protect coastal ecosystems, and improve the livelihoods of traditional fishing communities. The organization helps fishers secure rights to their fishing grounds, empowers them to improve local management, and drives sustainability efforts to protect valuable resources.
Why We Invest
Blue Ventures understands that the ocean is vital to the cultures and the economies of the communities where they work. This is why Blue Ventures ensures that fishers trust them to supply solutions that protect and preserve the ecosystems on which coastal communities depend. In order to build trust, Blue Ventures first introduces innovations that have demonstrable, quick results. For example, when establishing a relationship with the remote village of Andavadoaka in Madagascar, Blue Ventures helped the community establish a temporary octopus fishing closure with the hope that this would increase the declining number of catches. The results were astonishing. Closing off 20% of the fishing grounds for a couple of months resulted in an average increase in income of 136%.
Blue Ventures scales their interventions by partnering with small NGOs and trusted local community-based organizations. They provide technical support for marine conservation, and financial support to implement community projects. Even though each partner is small, together they create country-wide change and motivate local communities to manage their own livelihoods and sustain the ocean’s rich ecosystems.
Blue Ventures is a global leader in blue carbon conservation, working to restore and protect invaluable mangrove forests which are among the most carbon-rich habitats on Earth and yet are rapidly disappearing. The real-world data that fishers collect about how climate change and overfishing impact fishing grounds (and people’s livelihoods) is now being used to inform national-level policy decisions about the protection of marine resources.
How We Partner
King Philanthropies supports Blue Ventures to scale community-led marine conservation efforts around the world. Funds from King Philanthropies will deepen and expand Blue Ventures’ programming both directly and through local community partners to help hundreds of thousands of small-scale fishers secure fishing rights, protect and restore coastal ecosystems, and introduce ecologically sustainable aquaculture. Our funding will also enable Blue Ventures to lead on blue carbon initiatives by producing new tools and methodologies to improve blue carbon certification.
Aquaculture specialists have trained over 700 people in the Velondriake marine area to farm sea cucumbers and red “cottonii” seaweed. Photo: Blue Ventures
Bajo fishermen on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi use highly selective fishing techniques that cause no damage to the habitat Photo: Blue Ventures
Fishermen in the village of Antafiambotry on the island of Nosy Faly in northern Madagascar on opening day after a three-month fishery closure. Photo: Leah Glass
The Nosy Manandra sandbar in the Barren Isles is home to traditional fishers who free dive for sea cucumbers and fish for sharks. Photo: Blue Ventures