I had the opportunity this summer to spend some time with a Boston-based fish company called Red’s Best. Using a unique software platform, Red’s Best works to promote traceability in fisheries as well as the consumption of local, fresh, and diverse fish species from New England waters. During my time with them, I tried to assess the impact their company was having on the resilience of the social-ecological system they operate in. Drawing on information from stakeholder interviews and scientific literature, I built a framework through which to assess their impact on the New England fishery social-ecological system. It was incredibly interesting to see what insights the resilience approach can offer to this both company and the fishing industry, and also to uncover the many challenges of the resilience approach. Key findings are discussed in the attached report.
Measuring the impact of business on the resilience of social-ecological systems: A case study of Red’s Best and the New England fishery
Bio-cultural tools were the main topic at one of today’s panels at SOCAP. The topic of the panel was Creating an Operating System for the Good Economy with Indigenous People. The main focus was fisheries, the ecosystems of oceans, and the indigenous people whose lives depend on the fishing industry. The excellent panel included Alloysius Attah from Farmerline in Ghana, Dune Lankard from Copper River Wild Salmon Company in Alaska, Lisa Monzon from the Packard Foundation in California, and Shaun Paul as the moderator.
A shared interest in fostering business practices that foster conservation practices with indigenous people is what brought this panel together. The discussion focused on new collaborative approaches to catalyze business practices and investment that harness pioneering technological and social innovations that build resilience tools in relation to the fisheries industry.
Alloysius Attah discussed how Farmerline has developed a voice-activated mobile phone tool that gives rural farmers in Ghana the opportunity to enhance access to markets, improves access to financial services, and create a high mobile phone penetration in rural households. According to Alloysius “there are more mobile phones than people in Ghana” which creates an incredible opportunity to reach every rural farmer in Ghana with this important bio-cultural tool that creates social good. Farmeline has been working with the Bio-Cultural Resilience Tool and more information on the partnership can be found here.
The other tool that was discussed at the panel was traceability. In relation to the fisheries industry, how can we make sure the fish are coming from a sustainable supply-chain and not from devastated ocean resources or caught in a way that supports over-fishing? Dune Lankard is working on a solution to this problem by labeling the fish shipment boxes with a bar code and number that will bring the customer to a website that tells the story of where the fish came from, and the fishermen that caught it. This tool will stop the mass mislabeling of fish which in turn will help prevent over-fishing. Lisa Monzon works with the major companies around the world that buy seafood (such as Wal-Mart) and has been working with these companies to change fishing policies in North America, Europe and Japan. She also works with these companies on issues such as traceability, where the focus is on supply-chains creating a sustainable fishing industry worldwide.
This panel showed that bio-cultural tools are being used at every level to build economic, social, cultural, and ecological resilience benefiting priority conservation areas with indigenous people.
It’s been an energizing and intense week working with project partners around the world to articulate a vision for building the Operating System for the Good Economy that begins with….building biocultural resilience for oceans and fisheries. I am sharing a summary here.
Fisheries Resilience Project Summary
Fisheries industry in Beruwela (Photo credit: Dhammika Heenpella / Images of Sri Lanka)
Posted in Biodiversity, Blended Value, Environment, Fisheries, Impact Investing, multicultural, Nature-based business, Oceans, Resilience, Uncategorized, Value metrics
Tagged fisheries, Fishery, oceans, project summary