SIDS are empowering their ocean innovators to enhance their blue recovery and sustainable development

The Blue Economy provides a critical means for SIDS to accelerate development in the integrated pillars of the UNDP SIDS Offer "Rising Up For SIDS", including Climate Action and Digital Transformation. The year 2022 was declared by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture in recognition of the significant role of small-scale fishers, fish farmers and fish workers in providing healthy and nutritious food to billions of people. The need to sustainably use ocean resources for economic growth has been asserted in SDG target 14.7. UNDP’s Ocean Promise, that was launched in June 2022 at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, has committed to deliver at least 100 Ocean Innovations by 2030, by incubating innovative solutions that are transformational, scalable and replicable. 

In this regard, UNDP launched its second cohort of 10 ocean innovators last week to tap into new technologies and approaches to end overfishing, and put an end to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices. Among the winning projects, 3 were targeting SIDS. The “Space-Based Maritime Surveillance System for Fisheries Monitoring and Anomaly Detection” project will provide a ground-breaking, nearly real-time and automated space-based maritime surveillance solution for illegal fishing, building ocean resilience by addressing the risk of overfishing, particularly for some tuna species, in the Western Indian Ocean. 

Since women fisherfolk in the Maldives often struggle with delayed and unfair payment conditions, and poor access to financial information, tools and training, the “Increasing Economic Benefits for Women Fisherfolk in the Maldives” project will give women fisherfolk direct marketing and branding control over their fish products and augment their commercial value. Finally, the “Innovative fisheries management and aquaculture practices for Caribbean spiny lobster" project aims to develop a novel genetic tool based on population structure data for Caribbean spiny lobster and its connectivity across the region, working directly with fishers to transfer the latest global grow-out aquaculture technology and management, and co-design small-scale grow-out operations for spiny lobster. 

Image: Joe Laurence/Seychelles News Agency

Read more here: SIDS Bulletin 63

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