Program for Sustainable Fishing in The Philippines

The 7,107 islands that form the Philippines shelter more than 2,000 species of fish in spectacular coral reefs and climate-buffering mangroves and sea grasses. This extraordinary marine biodiversity does more than awe divers and snorkelers, it provides more than half of the animal protein in Filipinos’ diets and employs over a million local fishers.

Today, overfishing and illegal fishing methods threaten the sustainability of the Philippines’ marine ecosystem. Though 1,200 marine protected areas (approximately 25 percent of the global total) have been established, 90 percent are considered “paper parks” with little to no enforcement or management. A small-scale fisher who used to catch more than 40 kilograms of fish per day can now expect to catch just 3 kilograms with the same level of effort. As fish stocks and catches continue to plummet the economic and nutritional wellbeing of millions hang in the balance. Rare sees an unprecedented opportunity to help reverse these trends.

Rare and its partners have engaged dozens of local fishing communities throughout the Philippines to support sustainable fishery management to ensure long-term benefits for people and the planet. This system includes the creation and enforcement of fishery replenishment zones (known locally as marine protected areas) where fish can replenish.


Where Rare helps improve fisheries in the Philippines


Meet the Rare Fellows

Between 2010 and 2012, Rare trained 12 Fellows on how to use traditional marketing tools and run Rare’s signature Pride campaigns to motivate their communities to adopt sustainable fishing behaviors.


Rare Results

In just two years, these 12 Fellows inspired some impressive change in their communities and ecosystems.

  • On average, fish abundance across the 12 sites increased by 47 percent
  • The average time guarding the fishery replenishment zones per month increased 52 percentage points
  • Members in management committees for marine protection increased on average by 17 members
  • In 10 of the 12 sites, intrusions into fishery replenishment zones (no-take zones) from neighboring villages decreased
  • The levels of knowledge about marine protection increased by an average of 15.3 percentage points




Read more about Rare’s work in the Philippines in these stories:



For more information on this program download the brochure:

The Rising Tide of Community-Led Conservation

The Rising Tide of Community-Led Conservation (PDF)