PILLAR 1. Conserving Aquatic Biodiversity
The loss of aquatic biodiversity undermines ecosystems and threatens global food security. Causes include over-fishing (often government subsidized), release of captive-raised juveniles into the wild, some kinds of aquaculture, proliferation of alien species, climate change and pollution. Unfortunately, the issue is still largely viewed as a technical one, and has made little impression on policy makers or the public. But both are in a position to act: governments can create policies that protect biodiversity, and people who understand the issues better can put pressure on their governments.
The number one challenge now is simply to raise the profile of aquatic biodiversity - across the board. World Fisheries Trust has used awareness to do this, as well as more technical tools, including consultations, workshops, books and research focusing on international policy and communication.
The IDRC-funded project Aquatic Resources and Development (2004-2007) blends both approaches. This innovative project uses several methods to insert aquatic biodiversity into government policies. The Sink or Swim Roundtable on Aquatic Genetic Resources, held September 26 & 27, 2006 in Victoria, BC, focused on choosing effective communication techniques to get the biodiversity message across. The results of this "think tank" approach included a choice of key issues and a blueprint for action on them. Click here to view the Sink or Swim final report.
Other WFT projects focusing specifically on aquatic biodiversity include:
Many WFT projects have aquatic biodiversity as a cross-cutting theme: