The role of system intermediary isn’t about moving fish; it’s about moving information, money, and expertise to fill gaps in the system. And it’s critical for driving sustainable small scale fisheries. The artisanal hake fishers in Duao, Chile are organized and motivated. But like so many other small scale fishers who want to improve their practices, increase their capacities, and make changes to ensure they’re fishing sustainably, fishers in Duao struggle to access the resources to affect change. Laid out along a beautiful stretch of coastline, Duao was hit hard by the 2010 earthquake and tsunami, but has since been rebuilt, thanks to the commitment of the community and help from local NGOs. With over 90 boats in the local fleet, the small-scale hake fishery was and remains the heart of the town’s economy and identity, along with the robust tourist industry. Yet, declining fish stocks due to overfishing and climate change, difficulties accessing stable markets, and unstable pricing undermine fishers’ capacity to secure their livelihoods.
Sometimes, when solving problems in complex systems, designing simple solutions can work best.