EcoViva is a community-based organization that works closely with local partners to solve an ecological, poverty and health problem with a multi-faceted approach. Its focus is to create a secure revenue stream for fishermen along the Lempa River in the Bay of Jiquilisco in southeast El Salvador. Mangrove forests in this regional ecosystem provide a local food source, a critical habitat, a flooding solution for the region, and a breeding ground for young fish that will maintain the staple of fishermen incomes in the area.
The central goal of EcoViva’s project is to support fishermen who are using a sustainable method of fishing. Although some still use the unsustainable blast-fishing approach, in which homemade explosives are used to stun and kill fish, local fishermen and community leaders are working to reduce those who conduct blast fishing through education on the value of the sustainable fishing method.
The four-pronged approach to the program includes fisherman education, environmental stability (creating proper environments for fish spawning), increased enforcement patrols to limit the use of blast fishing, and creating a local fish cooperative to gain access to additional markets.