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Coastal Fisheries Initiative - Challenge Fund
Global Knowledge Competition

The Innovative Solutions

Winner Stories

Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde

Solutions to Overfishing

Winner: PescaLocal (Local Catch)

Coalition Encourages Tourists to Celebrate and Preserve Local Coastal Fisheries

A proposal to create a premium basket of seafood sourced from artisanal fishers and female fish buyers and sold locally was recognized by the World Bank’s CFI-CF Global Knowledge Competition as the winning solution put forth from Cabo Verde. The PescaLocal solution aims to reduce pressure on overfished species in high local demand by increasing consumer demand and sales of less familiar species to local restaurants and hotels. 

Cidade Velha is steeped in nearly six centuries of history. Since 2009, the city on the island of Santiago has been designated Cabo Verde’s first UNESCO heritage site, making it a progressively popular destination for the country’s visitors. Cultural heritage and picturesque beaches across the arid Atlantic islands have traditionally been critical drivers of Cabo Verde’s economy. Tourism accounted for 24 percent of the country's GDP and 10 percent of formal employment prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Today, visitors are rediscovering its beauty. A local coalition hopes to build on the new tourism wave to roll back a troubling trend: the depletion of local fish stocks. 

Some coastal fisheries are performing poorly in Cabo Verde, where fishing is concentrated on only a few popular species. The Instituto do Mar de Cabo Verde (National Institute for Fisheries Development) recently found that black mackerel and grouper fisheries are overexploited. Overfishing occurs largely due to the catch of juveniles and fishing during breeding season. 

“It is important to promote local fish and in a sustainable and durable way,” said Januário da Rocha Nascimento, Secretario of Associação de Defesa do Ambiente e Desenvolvimento (ADAD) in Cabo Verde.

Now most fishers vie for a limited number of species that are popular among buyers. Unless something is done, an already bad situation is likely to worsen. 

“Fishermen have to go so far to find fish,” said Ana Gonçalves, technical biologist at ADAD. “There is a problem with security,” due to the danger for fishers searching unknown waters, she said, “and most times they don't bring back fish.”

Building on a model used by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in Portugal, ADAD has assembled a local coalition to create the seafood basket sourced from artisanal fishers and female fish buyers in Santiago Island, Cabo Verde. The basket would be for sale at a premium to a network of restaurants and hotels interested in sustainability.

The PescaLocal solution aims to reduce pressure on overfished species in high local demand by increasing consumer demand and sales of less familiar species to local restaurants and hotels. 

We will work together “in collaboration with fishers’ associations and with the government, hotels and other organizations,” said Nascimento. “Fishers will be able to get five percent more income based on the quality and origin of the product.” 

PescaLocal aims to create a more diverse and sustainable supply of fish species, as fishers  comply with sustainable fishing rules and regulations, such as minimum catch size and closed seasons. The initiative will begin with building the awareness of fishermen and women who sell the fish to comply with measures for the management of fisheries. The coalition will seek to increase local technical capacity in resource conservation and improve fish handling and processing to help reduce post-capture losses. 

The coalition also seeks to provide entrepreneurship training to build skills to identify alternatives to fishing and encourage financial and business organizations to invest in fishing communities.  

ADAD and IIED are working with other partners on a media strategy to support legislation and scientific plans, and better inform the public about the value of sustainable practices.

The broad representative coalition that submitted the winning solution involves fisher organizations, hotels and restaurants, local and national government, and local and regional environmental non-government organizations. The partners are International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Associação de Defesa do Ambiente e Desenvolvimento (ADAD), Network of Professional Artisanal Fishing Organizations of Cabo Verde (ROPA-CV), Camara Municipal da Cidade Velha (CMCV), Hotel Pestana, Hotel Limeira and Hotel Vulcão, Cais de pesca da Praia, MiniMinistério do Mar, Escola de Hotelaria e Turismo de Cabo Verde (EHTCV), and Associação dos Pescadores e Peixeiras de Cidade Velha (APPCV).

Runner Up Stories

Cabo Verde - Runner Up

2022 Solutions to Overfishing

Runner-Up: Sustainable Fishing Promotion in São Vicente and Santiago Islands

Coalition Fosters Good Practices to Reduce Overfishing in Cabo Verde

A coalition for Sustainable Fishing Promotion in São Vicente and Santiago Islands seeks to encourage sustainable fishing practices and create alternative opportunities to fishing. It was recognized by the World Bank Coastal Fisheries Initiative-Challenge Fund (CFI-CF) Global Knowledge Competition in 2022 as the runner up put forth from Cabo Verde.

In Cabo Verde, sought-after coastal fish are running low.

A study carried out from 2018-2020 by the National Institute for Fisheries Development, (Instituto do Mar de Cabo Verde), found that black mackerel and grouper have been overexploited. The primary causes are juvenile catch and fishing during breeding season.

Old ways die hard, despite the risks and efforts to restrict these practices.

Local fishers “sell the popular fish species at a very low cost and without processing,” said Maria Ivonne Andrade, a Technical Expert at Renascença Africana-Associação das Mulheres da África Ocidental –Célula de Cabo Verde (RAMAO). They rely on fishing for their livelihood and are just seeking the fish that are available whenever they can expect to sell them.

Monitoring and enforcement of fishing practices is limited, so fishers take little risk in failing to comply with new requirements. Meanwhile, there has been little formal connection to date with other interested stakeholders that might engage fishers in practices to preserve fish stocks or create alternatives to fishing.

The Sustainable Fishing Promotion solution seeks to involve key fisheries sector actors and investors in São Vicente and Santiago islands, Cabo Verde to change the dynamic and generate interest in sustainable fishing practices and a more diverse local economy.

The coalition plans to put an emphasis on building awareness in fisher communities around the value of good fishing practices.

“One way is to identify alternative fish species and other [non-fishing] activities” and communicate this information to fishers to take pressure off the mackerel and grouper fisheries, explained RAMAO President Josefina Chantre Fortes.

The coalition also aims to generate interest within fishing communities through communication and outreach around non-fishing activities that can be supported by the financial community. Targeted entrepreneurship training will be aimed at promoting alternative livelihoods to fishing, such as tourism, that can improve the income of women and fishermen.

The coalition will identify ways to add value so fishers can increase the price for fish harvested in a responsible manner. The coalition will reach out to the business and financial communities to help strengthen infrastructure and equipment needed, such as cold storage, to add value to the fishing products. Parallel efforts will be made to spur more investment from the financial sector and create public awareness of business opportunities in tourism.

“We feel privileged to have received this recognition by the World Bank,” said Chantre. She said that they will try to use this platform as an opportunity to raise awareness of their efforts among potential sources of financing that can help them implement their vision and solution.

The coalition is comprised of Renascença Africana-Associação das Mulheres da África Ocidental –Célula de Cabo Verde (RAMAO), Instituto do Mar, The University of Cape Verde, The National Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DNPA), and Associação para o Ambiente e Desenvolvimento (ADAD).

Solutions to Overfishing

Solutions to Overfishing

The Global Knowledge Competition invites coalitions or individual organizations to develop innovative solutions to reduce overfishing through increased coordination among fishers and collaboration across the seafood industry and value chain actors.