Sea Cucumbers – Image via Wikipedia
Fast Company profiles a fascinating venture that seeks to solve fisheries problems by making links between economic benefits of fishermen and conservation:
Blue Ventures works by offering a variety of services to fishing communities in Madagascar that allow them to become less dependent on fishing. “It’s not like you can say: ‘Stop fishing, go and farm,” says Harris. “There is absolutely nothing else.” So Blue Ventures provides them with something else: aquaculture products that allow the fishermen to still use the sea for income, but means they don’t have to fish. These projects include seaweed and the world’s first community-run sea cucumber farm, an incredibly lucrative business given that sea cucumbers fetch high prices in Southeast Asia, where they’re considered a powerful aphrodisiac.
Once the communities have alternative sources of income, they can more safely implement temporary closures of fishing grounds, which then results in more fruitful catches.
Blue Ventures recently received $100,000 in prize money from the Buckminster Fuller Institute – a welcome influx of cash that should help the company expand its reach and continue its innovative approach to environmentalism.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.