Coastal communities and small-scale fishers have served as traditional stewards of coastal ecosystems for hundreds of years. Small-scale fisheries are central to solving many challenges, such as overfishing and habitat loss, and key to addressing poverty and hunger.
Despite the importance of coastal resources to societies around the world, the contributions of coastal communities and small-scale fishers are still undervalued, underreported, and consequently overlooked in fisheries policy.
WWF and our partners have decades of experience demonstrating successful community-led solutions to sustainable manage coastal and marine resources. However, as impressive and significant as these local successes are, they ultimately represent incremental progress. At this pace, we will not build the resilience of coastal communities and of the natural systems they depend upon.
The rapidly increasing impacts of climate change are exponentially compounding the threats to coastal habitats and communities. We need a global movement that can accelerate the implementation of successful coastal community-led conservation at the necessary scale.
Accelerating the Pace of Change
WWF and partners are working to amplify and accelerate the uptake of locally led solutions. The Coastal Communities Initiative, an international network of fishers, community associations and local authorities, is working to:
- Expand solutions to 200 new communities across priority seascapes
- Advocate policies that recognize communities’ role in the management of coastal resources and unlock funding
- Create partnerships and learning hubs to enhance local knowledge and build expertise that stays in the community
Stories from the front line of ocean conservationCoastal Community Stories
“Blue food” describes fish and other food from the ocean and inland waters. This category spans luxury items like bluefin tuna and humble edible algae, such as sea grapes. Fish protein and aquatic plants are essential components in the diets of coastal communities.
But blue or aquatic foods are often part of a "hidden harvest." Their value to human health and livelihoods is underreported or overlooked entirely.
It's time to change that. Earth’s remarkable ocean has fed humanity throughout the course of history. It can continue to do so, if we respect its limits.
WWF is proud to work with EDF, WorldFish, the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, Stockholm Resilience Centre and others to highlight the critical importance of aquatic foods. Download our shareable infographic.