en fisheries

revitalizing our oceans and coastal communities
fishermen in the philippines

in coastal communities around the world, lives and livelihoods depend on the ocean

By empowering communities with control over their fisheries, we can inspire them to manage local waters more sustainably, and provide a successful community-focused model for nations and the world.

the big impact of small-scale fisheries
50 percent
“small-scale” fisheries are responsible for 50% of global catch
9 in 10
9 in 10 fishers globally operate in a coastal fishery
90 percent
90% of the fish caught in small-scale fisheries goes toward human local consumption

overfished and underfunded

Overfishing, poor management and destructive practices threaten the vitality of coastal fisheries. Since government, philanthropy, and the private sector lack the awareness of the significant role this informal, yet valuable sector plays, they also lack the urgency to address the challenges they face.

64 perecent
64% of global fisheries are overfished
less than 12% of global ocean philanthropy over the past ten years went to solving coastal overfishing
less than 12% of global ocean philanthropy over the past ten years went to solving coastal overfishing

our solution: fish forever

Fish Forever is a community-led solution for revitalizing marine habitats, regenerating fish populations and helping coastal communities reimagine their future. Fish Forever seeks to inspire and accelerate community adoption of a sustainable fisheries management system with the potential to be deployed across nations and around the world.

Watch this video highlighting Fish Forever as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Vibrant Oceans Initiative.

Bloomberg Philanthropies' Vibrant Oceans Initiative - Fisheries Reform in Tañon Strait

the three fundamental principles of fish forever

1. Community behavior change
The adoption of sustainable fishing practices requires a change in the behaviors of fishers and their communities.

2. Rights-based management 
Providing local fishers with the right to exclusively access local waters, known as “managed access,” will ease the transition to more sustainable behaviors.

3. A clear pathway to scale 
The solution must include a strategy for widespread adoption.



what is managed access?

At the heart of Fish Forever is an innovative fisheries management system consisting of Managed Access (aka Territorial User Rights for Fishers) & Reserves where no fishing is allowed, and fish stocks can recover.

Restoring our Oceans: How TURF+Reserves Help Fishing Communities

evidence of success

In 2017, Rare undertook a massive project to evaluate the program’s progress in three countries—Brazil, Indonesia and the Philippines. The report synthesizes information from:

in-water surveys of coral reefs
surveys of individuals and households
records of fishing trips

changing the behaviors of fishers and coastal communitites

Ensuring the long-term viability of our oceans, and the communities that depend on them, requires fishers and their communities to change their behavior. We work with a host of partners to make sustainable fishing easier, more attractive and more profitable for fishers, and build local capacity to enable lasting behavior change.

fish forever progress updates

check out updates on rare's coastal fisheries program

In Issue #16, find news and updates on:

  • Significant Agreements Come to Life – Advancing climate change adaptation, sustainable financing, and national adoption of managed access for the Philippines’ coastal fisheries sector
  • Rare at the UN – highlighting the importance of behavior change and community-led approaches at the 2018 climate change and biodiversity conferences
  • Taking Stock of Small-Scale Fisheries – a dialogue on SSF at the first Sustainable Blue Economy Conference
  • Major Milestones Reached for Managed Access in Indonesia – Southeast Sulawesi province is paving the way for Indonesia’s coastal fishers
  • An Interview with Small-Scale Fisheries Expert Dr. Bob Pomeroy – on linking economic incentives to small-scale fisheries
  • In Other News – new reserves in the MAR, kicking off community-based surveillance in West Papua, a conversation between Bloomberg Philanthropies and Fish Forever, evaluating Fish Forever in Brazil, and how impact investing can help grow the Blue Economy
  • The Science of Fish Forever – what we’re learning


In Issue #15, find news and updates on:

  • The Movement for Small-Scale Fisheries – and the events helping to create momentum
  • An Interview with New Fish Forever Mozambique Vice President, Angelica Dengo – on joining Rare, the maritime fisheries regulation and collaborating with the government
  • Collaborating with BAPPENAS – and integrating coastal fisheries development into Indonesia’s draft national mid-term development plan, 2020-2024 
  • Two Partnership Highlights – applying design thinking, forensics and tech to help fishers adopt new behaviors and solutions
  • In Other News – a new Director for Fish Forever in the MAR, moving Fish Forever in Brazil, an update on Indonesia’s Southeast Sulawesi province marine spatial plan, and Rare Indonesia presenting at the 2nd International Conference on Integrated Coastal Management and Marine Biotechnology (ICM-MBT)
  • The Science of Fish Forever – what we’re learning

In Issue #14, find news and updates on:

  • The Network Effect: Designing Marine Reserves for Ecological Connectivity At Scale – a new approach to an old problem
  • Thoughts from Reserve Design Rockstar, Eric A. Treml – on why networked reserve design matters
  • Rare at COFI33 – critical messages and outcomes from the Thirty-Third Session of the U.N. FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI)
  • Rare Expands Fish Forever Approach in the Mesoamerican Reef – and is using videos to highlight local leaders inspiring behavior change to protect the world’s second largest reef
  • Interview with Fish Forever Brazil Vice President, Monique Barreto Galvão – on what success for Fish Forever looks like in Brazil
  • New Fish Forever Campaigns Launched in Brazil’s Northern States – nine campaigns kick off across the states of Pará, Piauí, Maranhão and Pernambuco
  • In Other News – updates on the world’s largest TURF Network, Rare’s new climate change champion Paula Caballero, Fish Forever campaigns in Mozambique, Rare Philippines VP in the news, Brazil’s Campaign Managers at the XVI Congress of The International Society of Ethnobiology, social marketing for the Philippines’ national protected areas, and a roundup of the latest in behavioral science applied to coastal fisheries.
  • The Science of Fish Forever – what we’re learning
  • Herbivorous fish drive biomass increases in the Philippines and Indonesia – recent results show how recovery is possible.
  • Shifting practices, customs and beliefs: Women as fisheries management decision-makers in Wakatobi National Park – valuing and integrating women’s important contributions to the small-scale fishing sector
  • OurFish configured for Mozambique – collecting, recording and utilizing coastal fishing data in the Mozambican context
  • Critical milestones for marine tenure in West Papua – launching Indonesia’s second customary law managed access with reserves network
  • In Other News – updates on training ICMBio in Brazil, fisheries management plans in the Tañon Strait, design thinking with the Stanford University d.school, an award in the Philippines, and a day-in-the-life of a fisher
  • The Science of Fish Forever – what we’re learning
  • Networking Community-based Fisheries – emerging results and lessons from a new model for Fish Forever
  • New Regulations for Fishing Rights and Licensing in Mozambique – advancing policy and program implementation in Mozambique’s coastal fisheries
  • Indigenous Rights and Contemporary Fisheries Management in Indonesia – implementing Mayalibit Bay’s first general customary fisheries area management plan, with an eye towards the Dampier Strait
  • Introducing a Municipal Fisheries Network Model to Mesoamerica – building a coalition of partners and a regional approach to effective marine resource management in the Mesoamerican reef
  • The Indonesia Summit, a new toolkit for data-limited fisheries, and milestones for The Meloy Fund
  • The Science of Fish Forever – what we’re learning
  • ‘Saving Brazil’s Mangroves’: A Partnership for Climate Resilience – opportunities emerge for small-scale fishers in Brazil’s announcement
  • Financing the Future of Small-Scale Fisheries – Rare elevates the profile of small-scale fishers around the world
  • Designing Coastal Fisheries Management in Mozambique – the journey to laying the foundation for managed access in Mozambique
  • Testing OurFish in Brazil – and in 2018, in Indonesia, Mozambique and Mexico
  • Building Social and Economic Capital with Savings Clubs: over $100,000 and Counting – continuing the story from the March 2017 issue
  • Learning from Japan’s Small-Scale Fishers – Fish Forever gathers insights from Japan’s Common Fishing Rights System
  • Strengthening Europe’s Behavioral Insights Community of Practice: The Stockholm Summit – Rare and SEI partner in advancing the field of behavioral insights
  • The First 41 Sites: Discoveries in Data – data discoveries will provide unparalleled opportunities for learning in Brazil, Indonesia and the Philippines
  • Advancing Rare’s Legacy of Behavior-Centered Design: The Center for Behavior & the Environment – launching “The Center” and thinking about what’s next for behavior-centered design
  • The Mission: Where Theory Meets Practice and Mission Insights – together with three Center advisors, Rare dug into behavior change and adoption during a week-long behavioral Insights field immersion and learning exchange in a Fish Forever Philippines site.  5 big insights drove our learning...
  • The Power of Social Norms, Comparisons, and WhatsApp for Indonesia’s Fisheries – behavioral tools coupled with clear policy may be what’s needed to shift Indonesia’s Park Directors towards managed access
  • The Behavioral Science of Fish Forever – what we’re learning

View past issues

fishery reform around the world

From the Philippines to Indonesia to Mozambique to Brazil, there is growing demand from national leaders and philanthropists to implement Rare’s distinct approach. Through partnerships with local to national governments, NGOs, and global programs like Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Vibrant Oceans Initiative, as well as participation in key global fora, Rare is elevating the plight of fishing communities and driving global investment in opportunities to restore fisheries and secure coastal livelihoods.