Ecotrust: Conservation Through Community Economic Development
Ed Backus and Ecotrust are helping spur marine conservation by supporting innovative fisheries entrepreneurs.
A group of halibut longline fishermen in Sitka, Alaska, recently became concerned about how much rockfish they were hauling in as unwanted bycatch. So they got some new laptops and better seafloor mapping software, and started laying their lines so they stayed over the continental shelf, instead of straying beyond it.
Their bycatch dropped by 25 percent, according to Ed Backus, who is vice president of fisheries for Portland, Oregon-based Ecotrust. Backus helped the Alaska fishermen accomplish that by partnering with them to create the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust.
"Now the fishermen have a better market story for their fish," said Backus.
Backus explained that Ecotrust's goal is to innovate in marine conservation through the lens of community economic development. He