Incubating co-ops to rescue the value of their catch

Published: 26 July 2017
Last edited: 03 August 2017

Based on the results of the diagnostic evaluation conducted by our Impact team, SmartFish designs an improvement plan to ready the group and its products for preferential markets. After thorough review with fisher partners and any outside partners (eg facilitating NGO), SmartFish and the fishing group sign a formal contract that defines the terms of the intervention. 

 

Subsequently, SmartFish incubates the fishing group to improve their fishing, handling, processing and other business practices to produce premium quality seafood that is independently verifiable as socially and environmentally responsible or improving.

 

To bring their seafood to preferential markets, SmartFish helps partner fishers achieve the following:

 

  • independent evaluation or certification of environmental sustainability (eg MSC, Seafood Watch, or FIP)
  • independent evaluation of social sustainability (eg FairTrade)
  • optimization of catch, handling, processing, packaging, transport, and other technical aspects
  • optimization of general business practices
  • incorporation of traceability system
  • leveraging of local infrastructure to retain as much value locally as possible locally, including opportunities for women and other community members

 

Classifications

Category
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Sustainable financing
Technical interventions and infrastructure
Scale of implementation
Local
Subnational
Phase of solution
Entirety

Enabling factors

  • Willingness and capcity of partner fishers
  • Expertise of SmartFish's production and enterprise departments (composed of fisheries engineers, commercial/finance specialists, and business consultants) 

Lessons learned

Take care not to accelerate the vicious cycle of overfishing. The elements of the aforementioned Value Rescue intervention will help fishers earn more for their fish. If fishers are not commited to sustainability or if strong management is not in place this could contribute to overfishing.