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Securing the Livelihoods and Nutritional Needs of Fish-Dependent Communities

Starting in June 2012, the Rockefeller Foundation began investigating the pressing problem of the declining health of the oceans due to climate change, overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction, and the effects of this decline on poor and vulnerable people who depend on marine ecosystems for food and livelihoods. The goal was to better understand the nature of the problem and the potential impact of interventions in the fields of fisheries, aquaculture, poverty, and food security.

We assembled a portfolio of learning grants that examined this problem from multiple perspectives in order to inform and assess the viability of and potential impact for future engagement on this topic. We supported four scoping studies that sought to identify populations dependent on marine fisheries, as well as review past experience with integrated approaches to fisheries management within a livelihoods and food security context. In partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, we also supported scoping work in four countries to assess opportunities for a coordinated strategy integrating national policy, local management, and innovative financing.

We have learned a tremendous amount from the work our grantees have done, captured in this report in a summary and synthesis. We identify the scale and urgency of the problem, current approaches and emerging trends, and key opportunities for the field.

We hope this information will contribute to the broader body of knowledge on this topic, as well as our own work.

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