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Equator Initiative Case Study - Participatory Fisheries Management Board of Puerto Cayo

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The small fishing community of Puerto Cayo, located in the south-west of Manabi Province on Ecuador’s Pacific coast is the setting for an experiment in sustainable fishing methods that has endured since the 1970s. In partnership with government agencies, the Participatory Fisheries Management Board of Puerto Cayo has formalized attempts to better conserve coastal biodiversity and improve fishing livelihoods.
One of the leading innovations in this effort was the introduction of a push net that is less damaging to the shrimp, and reduced by-catch of larval and juvenile shellfish and finfish, allowing shrimp populations to regenerate. This was supported by a trial fishing area closure period in 2002, and has been underpinned in recent years by the development of alternative livelihoods, including ecotourism, to reduce reliance on fishing incomes. The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize--issued biennially by the Equator Initiative--shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage. This project was awarded the Equator Prize in recognition of its contribution to local sustainable development solutions.

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