Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries (ECOFISH) Project

Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries (ECOFISH) Project

Fisheries remain highly important to the Philippine economy, particularly to poor communities that depend on small-scale fishing for livelihood. Even with catch rates that are among the lowest in the world, the country ranks 8th worldwide in total fish production. Excessive fishing has led to smaller average fish sizes, shifts in species composition, steep declines in fish abundance, and lower catches and incomes of fishers – a situation made grimmer by the threat of climate change.

In line with the U.S.-Philippines Partnership for Growth goal to achieve broad-based and inclusive growth, USAID/Philippines is implementing the five-year Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries (ECOFISH) Project. Building on the progress made under the Fisheries Improved for Sustainable Harvest (FISH) Project, ECOFISH will work on conserving biological diversity, enhancing ecosystem productivity and restoring the profitability of fisheries in eight MKBAs, using EAFM as a cornerstone of improved social, economic and environmental benefits.

The eight MKBAs are (1)Lingayen Gulf, (2)Verde Island Passage, (3)Calamianes Island Group, (4)Ticao-San Bernardino-Lagonoy Gulf, (5)Danajon Reef, (6)South Negros Island, (7)Surigao del Sur and del Norte, and (8)Sulu Archipelago.

ECOFISH will formulate a 10-year roadmap to develop, formalize and foster inter-LGU alliances and other collaborative governance alliances to sustain relationships and advance EAFM beyond project’s lifespan. The project will also conduct training for government, NGOs and academic institutions; scientific and technological capacity development for baseline assessment and monitoring, and technical assistance for the development of policies, plans and guidance documents on EAFM.

In consultation with stakeholders, ECOFISH will identify focal and expansion areas and implement targeted activities that respond to the needs of each MKBA. To sustain the momentum achieved by the FISH Project in constituency-building, ECOFISH will engage new champions and constituencies, especially in the private sector. Embracing the Gender and Development mainstreaming approach, ECOFISH will also continue to build on past efforts to improve the status of women.

Conserve biological diversity, enhance ecosystem productivity and restore the profitability of fisheries in eight marine key biodiversity areas (MKBAs) using ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management (EAFM)


  • Develop collaborative governance alliances for EAFM
  • Develop EAFM capacity using a systems approach
  • Apply innovative EAFM principles and best practices in 8 MKBAs
  • Build and leverage EAFM champions and constituencies
  • Mainstream gender through project activities


Last updated: September 21, 2015

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