Minnows © Michel Roggo

Our Shoal (and the organisations supporting it) will ultimately be judged on the sum and the success of its conservation interventions. The multi-sectoral approach across the globe will emphasise the engagement, capacity-building and long-term sustainability with the following significant benefits for the various stakeholders involved:

Private sector companies:

  • Protect wild stocks of the species upon which the industry depends.
  • Consumers are increasingly interested in the supply chain which precedes their consumption. Being a member of this alliance will demonstrate that the company is taking an active role in conservation and towards fulfilling its environmental and social governance.
  • Contributions towards meeting industry standards and global targets such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • A wonderful platform to inform and engage their customers all over the world

Aquaria and Zoos:

  • Opportunity to further educate and engage visitors in freshwater species conservation.
  • Potential financial and technical support for conservation projects implemented on the ground in focal regions in collaboration with local partners.
  • Better coordination of freshwater species conservation programmes between member aquaria and zoos for both ex-stiu and in-situ conservation.

Anglers:

  • Opportunity to actively contribute to the conservation of freshwater fish in areas where otherwise they could not.
  • Public awareness of the positive contribution angling can make towards conservation of freshwater fish.
  • Educating a significant group of stakeholders who can become mobilised more broadly on freshwater conservation issues, helping to elevate their public profile and influence policymakers.

Aquarists:

  • Ensure the sustainability of their hobby.
  • Better connect hobbyists to action on the ground, enhancing understanding of the threats to freshwater species and raising a broader constituency of support for their conservation.
  • Offer a simple mechanism by which hobbyists can contribute towards fish conservation projects.

Conservation organisations and agencies:

  • Funding for projects implemented to conserve freshwater species.
  • Connect and better inform, from a species perspective, the work of conservation NGOs working at the policy level on freshwater ecosystem conservation.
  • Better information for other practitioners, including governments.
  • Local capacity built of organisations on the ground, connecting them to technical expertise and identifying mechanisms through which they can increase impact.

Local communities:

  • Conservation projects are far more likely to be successful where they effectively engage local communities. It would be an objective of the new organisation to support projects which offer direct and tangible benefits to local communities
  • Freshwater fisheries are critical to the food security of many of the world’s poorest communities (see Phillips et al., 2002). Effective species conservation can directly benefit these communities through conserving the fish stocks they rely upon.
  • Communities who live on the banks of the world’s lakes and rivers often face many of the same threats as freshwater species. By raising further attention to these issues the organisation could contribute to their cause too.

The philanthropic community:

  • Help to build the foundations of Shoal to allow the partnership to be a long-term and sustainable change-maker.
  • An opportunity to be involved in a coordinated initiative to save one of the most threatened and ecologically valuable group of species on the planet.
  • Reduced reliance on philanthropy as the sole source of funding, instead philanthropy can help to leverage and complement other sources of funds.
  • Access to the foremost knowledge and expertise on freshwater species to ensure impactful grant-making.