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).