The fishing sector remains of vital importance for the economy of various regions of the world. Millions of families depend on it to survive, and yet the existence of traditional fishing communities is in danger due to a system of inefficient commercialization and industrial fishing, the scanty diversification of sources of income, and the erroneous assumption of the fishermen that the sea’s resources are inexhaustible. Is it possible to create a model that protects the profession of traditional fishers and at the same time supports the values of ecological sustainability? Could it be possible to transform the social, economic, and environmental conditions of small fishermen?
Antonio Garcia Allut is addressing the problem by making rural fishing communities more viable and by enabling fishermen to safeguard the natural environment upon which their livelihood depends. He wants to transform traditional fishers from subsistence fish gatherers into stewards of the marine environment that will efficiently manage their resources and guarantee sustainability for future generations. An electronic marketplace owned by fishing organizations that increases market transparency and bypasses middlemen to link fishers directly with consumers and restaurants is essential to achieve this goal. Allut’s new system of direct distribution, Lonxanet, is able to connect supply and demand more efficiently and precisely. It eliminates intermediaries by selling directly to individuals and restaurants all over Spain. This integrated marketing and logistics service has converted fishers into stock-holders responsible for their own economic future. He is working with communities in Europe, Northern Africa and Latin America to adapt the model to local needs.