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July 1, 2018

Stemming the Tide of Coastal Overfishing: Fish Forever Program Results 2012–2017

Publisher: Rare

Funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bobolink Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Global Environment Facility (GEF), John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Scotty Searle, The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, The Lundin Foundation, The Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Waitt Foundation

Language: English

Fish Forever is the first global solution that brings together 30-plus years of Rare's experience in community empowerment, social marketing and behavior adoption with the technical, policy and financial skills needed to secure lasting results for people and nature.

This report describes the results of 41 Fish Forever sites, representing over 250 communities across Brazil, Indonesia and the Philippines. It is the first opportunity to analyze the past five years of design (2012–14) and implementation (2014–17). Using a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation protocol, the report synthesizes information from three country learning reports, 2,400 in-water surveys of coral reefs, 15,000 individual and household surveys, and the landing records from nearly 56,000 fishing trips — and represents the work of 70 Rare staff and 80 partner organizations who have committed the time of more than 557 global staff to this project.

Ecological and social responses to three years of program implementation are promising, and importantly, results from the data infer that Fish Forever is working:

* Ecologically, fish are recovering — fish biomass is increasing, both inside and outside no-take reserves;

* Socially, communities are empowered — social resilience, pride and livelihoods are improving;

* 51 legal and functional management bodies were established across the 41 sites;

* 63 managed access areas were built or strengthened, encompassing nearly 600,000 hectares of coastal waters with 27,000 hectares secured in fully protected reserves; and

* Strengthened policies and governance provide a clear path to scale.

The initial implementation period has been an enormously valuable learning experience for Rare and our partners. This report is an opportunity to reflect on Fish Forever's impact and consider our work in the coming years.