Managing the use of our limited natural resources in a sustainable manner that provides both short and long term utility is one of the most significant global challenges we face today.
The economic, social, and environmental consequences of finding the right balance in utilization of our natural resources are wholly intertwined and impact every organism and ecosystem on earth.
Council Fire works at the forefront of the sustainable management of natural resources around the world. While our expertise and experience covers the full breadth of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, a particular area of specialization lies within the realm of oceans and fisheries management. Our unmatched collection of oceans experts have 300+ years of combined local, national and global experience working to solve many of the world’s most pressing marine issues on behalf of countless governmental, multilateral, NGO, philanthropic, financial and private sector organizations.
We’ve led major oceans initiatives for pre-eminent organizations including World Wildlife Fund, National Geographic, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resource Defense Council, the Walton Family Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and SeaWeb and have facilitated market-driven interventions through financial institutions including Zoma Capital and Encourage Capital. We’ve supported leading governance organizations including the US Departments of Commerce and State, NOAA, the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and various fisheries management councils and industry groups, both in the US and internationally. And we’ve operated at the forefront of ocean management technology and innovation, leading multi-stakeholder initiatives to modernize data management systems and building constituencies and collaborations to drive systemic improvement.
Our experience shows we can restore, conserve and leverage these resources, whether in the oceans or on land, in ways that provide for both our immediate needs and those of future generations. The right policies, programs, management practices, technologies and market-based solutions are critical to this success. Our broad, yet deep insight and expertise enables us to guide our clients in navigating these complexities. The results are optimized resource use and value creation for our clients and the communities in which they operate.
As we seek to feed a growing population of nearly 8 billion people, the health of our oceans is trending in the wrong direction. According to the UN Food & Agriculture Organization, more than 31% of the world’s wild fish stocks are overfished. Simultaneously, the Ocean Health Index reports that more than 60% of coral reefs, home to 25% of all marine species, are degraded and the percentage is growing.
An Illustration of Our Work
Sustainable Fisheries Management
Environmental Defense Fund is a leading international nonprofit organization with more than two million members. One of EDF’s largest areas of focus is restoring global ocean health, with a specific focus on sustainable fisheries management. The goal of the EDF Oceans program is to have more fish in the sea, more food on the plate and more prosperous fishing communities.
Key challenges to achieving this ambitious goal are establishing and implementing the right policies and practices that encourage and support effective fisheries management at the local, regional and national level. Doing so requires deep local knowledge and on-ground teams to build a chorus of support amongst fishermen, industry and government, with strong central coordination.
To better address these challenges, EDF has partnered with Council Fire over the past 7+ years in the United States and several other locations around the world. By deploying our full suite of services and capabilities – and engaging fishermen’s organizations, nonprofits, philanthropy and the highest levels of national government – our team has helped lead the transformation of overall management and commercial fishing in a variety of jurisdictions in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. In each case, we have worked to build transparent, inclusive and collaborative processes wherein stakeholders can align strong conservation and policy goals with improved economic and social opportunity for fishermen and the seafood industry throughout the country at issue. Several of these programs, such as the work underway in Sweden, are evolving models for successful fisheries management reform efforts.
In addition to designing and implementing multi-faceted stakeholder engagement programs to build collaborative structures for economic, environmental and community improvements , Council Fire has also supported EDF's leadership team on a wide array of operational matters to improve program performance, including assisting the highly-innovative Fisheries Solution Center. Our management support services include: strategic planning, program design and implementation, management and staff training, and mentoring to support staff located in the United States and numerous other locations around the world.