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Environmental Education Station received training classes for Fishing Forever program

 In the week from 2nd to 6th of March, the Environmental Education Station, an initiative from the Interdisciplinary Center for the Environment (NIMA) of PUC-Rio, received classes from the training phase of the program Fishing Forever. The project already exists in the Philippines, Mozambique, Belize and Indonesia, and arrived in Brazil last year, through a partnership with the NGO Rare, ICMBio and CONFREM (National Commission for Strengthening Extractive Reserves and Coastal Marine Extractive People).

Fishing Forever was organized by the NGO Rare and aims to improve the management of artisanal fisheries; to train local leaders in social mobilization through intensive training; to create strong local fishing cooperatives to regulate the sustainable use of its resources; to implement community strategies to promote incentives for fulfillment of fishery recovery areas; and to create a learning network and local monitoring.

Six existing local leaders of fishing communities from Marine Extractive Reserves (RESEX) were at the Station, between the 2nd and 6th of march, to start their training with classes that covers both administrative aspects as specific aspects of sustainable fishing. The chosen RESEX were the ones that already had government initiatives and community engagement towards sustainable fishing policies and actions. From each place it was chosen a potential campaign manager, who will now be submitted to an intensive training complemented by field work. The current stage of classes at Environmental Station is only the beginning of a program planned to last two years, with this first group. Fishing Forever's second round promises to work with twelve other areas, totaling 18 areas involved at the end of five years. With that, Fishing Forever hopes to reach up to 45 000 fishermen and strengthen areas of exclusive access through the coast, besides create or increase fishing spawning sites, which will ensure a bigger quantity of fish.

Fishing Forever is part of a Pride campaign, an initiative by Rare that works with the concept of social marketing and promotes the well-being and the sustainability in a given community. "It is with the community that you will build the foundation of the campaign, which is a campaign for pride," explains the director of Rare, Georgia Pessoa.

Georgia also explained the need to recognize the obstacles faced by the project to then, understand how it's possible to overcome them. According to her still, those obstacles can go from technical issues to difficulties with the communities.

"The year 2015 is to construction. We are giving information and helping to develop this campaign for change. We work with six communities that have overfishing problems and we want to find individual strategies for each of them be able to change its situation", concluded Georgia.

(Pictures from Sacha Gilbert)

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