What is Accountability.Fish?

It is a global movement to raise awareness of the under-monitored and murky politics of Regional Fisheries Management Organizations, to support equal stakeholder to RFMO decision-making processes, improve accountability of RFMO decision-making, and ultimately to influence RFMOs in a more economically and environmentally sustainable direction.

Why take aim at RFMOs?

Many global fisheries are in a recoverable but unsustainable state, and a political process that is driven solely by the interests of the largest fishing countries and corporate fishing fleets spells doom for fishing communities, and much of the role fish can play in providing nutrition for people and planet.

Who is Ryan Orgera?

Ryan Orgera, PhD is a marine governance expert and campaigner who works globally and has extensive connections in the conservation and fisheries world. 

Who is behind Accountability.Fish?

There is considerable work going on scientifically in the world of fisheries management, but the murky nature of RFMO decision-making has made it difficult for that science to get the needed political traction to make crucial, ocean-saving changes.

It became clear that foundation resources needed to be redirected towards political action, and Ryan saw the opportunity to take initiative and step up to lead the effort. The initial funding comes from Oceans 5. We are not asking for any financial contribution from any of our members for the foreseeable future.

Why the “dot” in Accountability.Fish?

The “dot” is illustrative of the nature of our challenge – to bring global fisheries decision-making into the twenty-first century.  There is no excuse for crucial economic and natural decisions to be made largely in secret in a world where nearly everyone has a cell-phone and a social media account. 

What is Accountability.Fish aiming to do in 2023?

Our first steps are to get ourselves established, start telling the story of RFMO mismanagement and its economic and environmental costs, and identify the best ways to bring accountability to this dark and private corner of global governance.

What Does it Mean to “Join” Accountability.Fish?

Joining or affiliating with Accountability.Fish can take on a variety of different roles, from signing our Pledge to representing our views with relevant decision-makers, to seeking additional support and partnership in the communities and industries that are impacted by RFMO decisions.

What will my organisation be asked to do?

The baseline request is to sign our Pledge calling for a new paradigm in the arena of international fisheries governance. Beyond the Pledge, our focus will be on identifying positions and actions to reform international fisheries governance.  As with all campaigns, some participants will be more active than others – and all support is welcome.

Why don’t you just support a blanket ban/moratorium on fishing in general?

Accountability.Fish is all about accountability and a fisheries management approach that works for consumers, workers and the environment.  A blanket ban does none of those things, and the idea of advancing one only alienates the range of coalition partners we need to drive a more reasonable and sustainable paradigm.  Such a paradigm must balance the needs of all stakeholders rather than completely skewing towards one single objective.

You emphasize that progress is achievable - even though the existing system is obscure, opaque and broken. What makes you optimistic about change?

What we want to do is introduce twenty-first century accountability – directly involving civil society through the platforms and conversations through which they are already increasingly shaping other areas of climate and conservation policy. 

Just because the current system is outmoded doesn’t mean that it is unfixable – but it’s not a system that’s about to fix itself.  Raising the profile and awareness of the stakes to consumers, workers and retailers is a missing piece of the puzzle and we’ll start adding it now.