If managed properly, the commercial fishing industry could become one of the world’s most vital and sustainable supply chains. However, fisheries management is often bogged down by slow, paper-based data collection around fishing quotas and sustainable harvesting practices. To fix this, our strategic partner Amplifier Strategies conceived of the Fish Hub in 2011 and has been spearheading design and development of the technology platform, which helps commercial fishing communities manage collaborative activities. By providing a central location for all information needed by members of the commercial fishing community, such as a tool to create budgets, track quota and share data, Fish Hub empowers the fishing industry to become more environmentally sustainable without sacrificing economic opportunity.
Fondation Erol recognized that a centralized platform could drastically improve economic, environmental and social outcomes through cost-efficient, data-driven and highly participatory fisheries co-management. We partnered with the Walton Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Fund to support Amplifer in the Fish Hub project. We believe that it is possible to champion environmental sustainability in tandem with, rather than in opposition to, economic prosperity, and Fish Hub is evidence of this model’s success.
With the help of our grants, Fish Hub is now up and running in Massachusetts (Cape Cod) and California (Morro Bay and Fort Bragg). In summer 2013, Penobscot East Resource Center joined the partnership to contribute to the design and release of Version 2 of Fish Hub’s Boat Plan application, which provides tools to fishermen for thorough harvest and business planning. With improved design and technology, Fish Hub will continue to expand to more fishing communities and create a network of sustainable fisheries nationwide.