Pioneering efforts to rebuild tropical fisheries with coastal communities in the Indian Ocean have received a distinguished accolade for social entrepreneurship.
The Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, which recognises organisations that are disrupting the status quo and driving large-scale social change, will be presented to Blue Ventures at a ceremony in Oxford on Thursday 16 April 2015.
With an approach that focuses on developing strong partnerships to achieve results and spread new ideas, Blue Ventures is working to reimagine marine protection; introducing short-term closures of fishing grounds to boost catches, thus sparking and building enduring support for more ambitious conservation efforts led by communities, for communities.
By returning meaningful economic benefits in timeframes that work for traditional fishers, this model inspires local leadership to protect marine biodiversity and improve food security.
Starting in a single village just over a decade ago, this fisheries management tool has since gone viral in Madagascar and beyond, replicated by hundreds of communities along thousands of kilometres of coast, within a movement that has seen the creation of 65 locally managed marine areas covering 11% of the country’s seabed.
Blue Ventures combines this model with efforts to reduce dependence on fishing through environmentally sustainable seaweed and sea cucumber farming, and family planning services that improve community health and empower women to get more involved in marine management.
The Skoll Foundation presents the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship each year to social entrepreneurs whose innovations have demonstrated a significant and proven impact addressing some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Each awardee receives a three-year core support investment to scale their work. Blue Ventures will use this to continue sharing its experiences and facilitating adoption of its conservation models by partners around the world.
Dr Alasdair Harris, Executive Director of Blue Ventures, said; “We’re delighted to have received this recognition from the Skoll Foundation. The award has the potential to completely transform the scale of our impact, enabling us to expand our horizons and advance our partnerships in order to achieve our vision of reaching three million people in tropical coastal communities by 2020.”