Antonio García Allut
This profile was prepared when Antonio García Allut was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
Antonio is transforming traditional fishers from simple “fish gatherers” with a subsistence mentality to stewards of the marine environment who efficiently manage their resources and guarantee sustainability for future generations. He is developing the tools and institutions necessary to guarantee their economic viability and security. An electronic marketplace owned by fisher organizations increases market transparency and bypasses middlemen to link fishers directly with consumers and restaurants. This integrated marketing and logistics service has converted fishers into stock holders responsible for their own economic future; middlemen, politicians and society in general now see them with a newfound respect. Indeed many of Antonio’s initiatives aim to bring a greater dignity to fishers’ work. He is professionalizing the sector and thereby teaching both fisher families themselves and the broader society to value the fishing profession. Capitalizing on his in-depth knowledge of fishing communities around the world, Antonio is building a model of environmental stewardship applicable to other fishing communities and resource dependent communities. He is working with communities in Europe, Northern Africa and Latin America to adapt the model to local needs.