by Johnny Ford, Senior Director of Public Relations at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago
We Call This Program:
Many aquaria and zoos rely on fishing communities to maintain healthy, genetically diverse populations of aquatic fish and invertebrates in human care. This grant funding will allow the aquarium community to work with suppliers to further improve supply chains while continuing to sustain coastal communities around the globe that rely on fishing as a means of livelihood and way of life. By working directly with governments and local leaders in fishing communities, aquariums can contribute to sustainable, small-scale and co-managed coastal fisheries that promote climate, social and economic resilience.
“Accredited aquariums and zoos have long sought out and worked with suppliers who can guarantee that we do not contribute to the problems we are trying to solve for wild aquatic populations,” said Peggy Sloan, Chief Animal Conservation Officer at Shedd Aquarium. “Support from IMLS will amplify the thoughtful trainings and collaboration with local fisheries that are already happening to center animal wellbeing and ecological preservation.”
Grant funding from IMLS will accelerate existing work to move fishers from a volume-driven approach to one that is focused on value – sharing and applying the best husbandry, management and care techniques across the supply chain. At the same time, partners will use data to determine what species are prolific and resilient to overfishing (ideal candidates for fishing), curbing demand away from species that are more vulnerable or threatened.
We look forward to bringing you updates from us and our partners on IndoReefFish as we make progress in this ambitious program. Stay tuned!