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WildAid’s Alternative Income Project in Galapagos Wins Prize

WildAid was one of only five winning applicants, out of 311 total, to win the UNDP Equator Prize for our work with the Women’s Association Pescado Azul, in the island of Isabela, Galápagos.

Pescado Azul provides jobs for unemployed women and sustainable economic alternatives for fishermen. Traditionally, the fishermen have relied on declining coastal sea cucumber, lobster, and shark populations for their livelihood. The association provides an alternative by creating a market for yellowfin tuna, a migratory species, which is processed, smoked and sold to tourists.

The project also contributes to the conservation of the Galápagos by using guava wood, a destructive, invasive species, to smoke the fish. This small-scale business is decreasing pressure on the already overexploited fishery by focusing on added value rather than scale in its production of smoked fish delicacies.

Recent success with the project can be attributed to a comprehensive assistance package financed by USAID and directly implemented by WildAid, WWF and Fundacion Natura. The intervention has included the provision of equipment, technical assistance in processing and administration and the development of marketing materials and commercialization strategy.

WildAid was crucial in developing this business and thanks to this prize we will now have the opportunity to take the project to the next level.