Encouraging Responsible Fishing Practices

Raising awareness & skill-building through education & community exchanges

The project’s priority target group, the artisanal fishing sector, comprises both a main threat and beneficiary of the marine ecosystem. Over 15,000 fisherman and their families depend on overexploited resources along the Pacific Coast in Costa Rica. The fishers’ average income is $370 per month for families of four to five members, which is significantly lower than the country’s minimum wage of $530 per month. Additionally, they are challenged by scarce capabilities to strengthen their local organizations, remote location, lack of education, and difficult access to profitable market processes to sell the highly perishable marine product.

With LEX-NG Fund support, MarViva has hosted training workshops for local fishing groups and associations that teach people how to adopt fishing best practices and why they are important to the ecosystem. Training includes information on selective fishing gear, species identification and vulnerability, recommended minimum size, legal fishing grounds, closure periods, and a marine food web exercise to learn about the roles of different species.

By implementing responsible fishing methods, fishers are adding value to their product, differentiating it from other conventionally-harvested seafood products on the market, giving them the ability to sell their fish for a higher price.

MarViva also organizes experience-sharing exchanges among local groups from different coastal communities to encourage fishers to adopt best practices. For example, after the closure of the 2015 fishing season, two receiving centers in Costa Pajaros, Costa Rica shared knowledge and tips on how to improve product quality to meet the expectations of high-end buyers. Their goal being to inspire more fishers to join the marine conservation effort. 

The Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund aims to protect the last wild places in the ocean while facilitating conservation, research, education, and community development programs in the places we explore. If you would like to learn more about projects supported by the LEX-NG Fund worldwide, please contact the Fund by email. To support our work by making a contribution to the LEX-NG Fund, click here.

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