Finalist, Seafood Champion Awards Advocacy Category
While COARE is versed in many areas of ocean public policy, it excels in shark conservation policy, and has been involved in nearly every successful effort to regulate the sale of detached shark fins in the continental United States.
Borne of these efforts and the realization that effective shark conservation inherently inspires ecosystem-based support, COARE developed the Shark Safe® certification for businesses that distinguish themselves through their dedication to shark conservation. Qualifying businesses may not offer shark or shark products, or seafood that is harvested in ways associated with shark bycatch, for sale.
While COARE’s accomplishments are significant for an NGO of any size, what is even more impressive is that it is completely volunteer-run and volunteer-led. Since its inception, every single dollar, euro, yuan (yen), and rupee contributed has gone directly towards support of COARE’s programs.
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The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE) is one of the world’s leading organizations in ocean conservation policy. While COARE is versed in many areas of public policy regarding ocean matters, it excels in shark conservation policy, and has authored, led, supported, or been involved in nearly every successful effort to regulate the sale of detached shark fins in the continental United States. Borne of these efforts and the realization that effective shark conservation inherently inspires ecosystem-based support, COARE developed the Shark Safe® certification.
Through its Shark Safe® certification efforts and multilingual educational materials people around the world can be exposed to conservation concepts and begin to rethink their choices regarding seafood. The greatest power in the Shark Safe® program is that is reaches – and helps educate and inspire – every level of the seafood industry, from fisher to consumer.
While COARE’s accomplishments are in themselves noteworthy for an NGO of any size, what is even more impressive is that it is completely volunteer-run and volunteer-led. Since its inception, every single dollar, euro, yuan, and rupee contributed has gone directly towards support of COARE’s programs.
What local and/or international partners does COARE work with?
COARE understands, supports, and encourages collaborative efforts. In fact, it has begun fostering coalition efforts to encourage and inspire better communication and more efficient use of resources.
The following are just an example of some of the organizations we have worked with for some projects and/or with which we work on a regular or ongoing basis:
- BLUE Ocean Film Festival
- Environment America
- Humane Society of the United States
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
- Ocean Conservancy
- Shedd Aquarium
- Blue Legacy
- Hong Kong Shark Foundation
- Humane Society International
- Mission Blue (Sylvia Earle)
How well does COARE and its work demonstrate the qualities of the category?
COARE is, quite literally, changing the world and helping to provide a more sustainable future.
We are changing the way people think and act, and we are inspiring future generations of leaders and conservation-minded citizens.
In what ways has COARE positively affected, or mitigated negative impacts of, the seafood industry?
By inspiring and educating fishers, distributors, restaurateurs, and consumers, as well as legislators, COARE has deeply affected the way people view and understand ocean resources, and more importantly, the importance of avoiding threatened and endangered species, as well as the methods and gear which pose threats to their food supplies, habitat, or ecosystems. Each “ah-hah” moment affects the buying habits of an individual and all those in his/her life. Further, with each penstroke enacting legislation COARE has worked on, millions of threatened animals are spared. COARE’s approach is not only truly transformational and holistic, but it is incredibly effective.
In what way does COARE’s story inspire others and communicate successes achieved in sustainable seafood?
COARE’s positive messaging and impressive results are an inspiration, and each year, our reach grows. We hope that one day we’ll work ourselves out of a “job”, but until then, we will enjoy making the changes and reaching people as we do.
How would COARE’s work serve as a replicable model for others who want to have a similar impact?
Collaborative work and coalition-based advocacy is not only highly effective, it is more natural way of working. Unfortunately many organizations are more concerned with appearance and “claimable” results than they are actual outcomes. A wise person once told me that “you can accomplish a lot if you don’t care who gets credit.” COARE embraces this principle and believes that our actions speak for themselves.[/accordion-item]