Miguel Angel Jorge has been named as the first managing director of 50in10, a collaboration launched with the 10-year goal of bringing 50 percent of the world’s fisheries under sustainable management, while increasing economic benefits by $20 billion annually. The goal of 50in10 was inspired by comments made by the former president of the World Bank at the launch of the Global Partnership for Oceans.
“Our future depends on healthy oceans. This is a decade when we can make unprecedented strides toward sustainable management of our oceans—if we work together,” said Juergen Voegele, Director of the Agriculture and Environmental Services Department at the World Bank, which is part of the 50in10 steering committee. In addition to the World Bank, the steering committee to date includes representatives of the Academy for Systemic Change; ALLFISH; Conservation International; Environmental Defense Fund; the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; Rare; The Nature Conservancy; the Walton Family Foundation and WWF.
“The world is ready,” Voegele continued. “Corporations understand that you don’t have a future if you don’t source sustainably. Governments are hungry for comprehensive answers. With all of these forces coming together, the time is ripe for the type of collaborative effort that 50in10 represents. And with his deep experience and connections, we’re fortunate to have Miguel Jorge at the helm as 50in10 enters this critical next phase in its development.”
A veteran of the sustainable fisheries movement, Jorge comes to 50in10 from the National Geographic Society, where he served as director of their Ocean Initiative and worked with diverse partners and stakeholders to restore fisheries, promote marine reserves and build broader support for healthy and productive oceans.
As managing director of 50in10, Jorge will work to expand the network of stakeholders supporting its goals and facilitate knowledge sharing about sustainable fisheries management. Through sustainable management, fisheries are harvested at a sustainable rate so that the fish population does not decline over time and can continue to provide food and jobs, as well as healthy fish habitat. Jorge will also help design and support collaborative fishery restoration program implemented by the partners around the world. By bringing together industry, researchers, governments, NGOs, and financial institutions, 50in10 aims to expand localized successes by combining strategies, and rapidly replicating the most successful models.
By stepping into the role of managing director, Jorge will also become the coalition’s first dedicated staff member, ensuring that the previously volunteer-driven effort has the leadership, structure and capacity to build on the momentum created when 36 public- and private-sector organizations convened in Vancouver, B.C., in November 2012 to develop a framework for collaboration.
“While we’ve made a lot of progress, there’s still a big part of the world where overfishing is a difficult problem to solve. But we have a tremendous opportunity, as well,” said Jorge. “What we heard in Vancouver is that seafood companies recognize that more needs to be done, and they want to participate in solving that challenge with us.”
Also contributing to the momentum is the participation of large multilateral organizations like the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility, an independent financial organization that unites 183 countries with international institutions, NGOs, civil society organizations and the private sector to address environmental issues.
“I’m excited about what we can accomplish as 50in10 unites the often disparate approaches of policy reform, community engagement and market strategies under one coordinated effort,” Jorge added.
Prior to National Geographic, Jorge was director of WWF-International’s Marine Program, overseeing their global strategies on fisheries, seafood, shipping and high-seas policy. He has also worked extensively in Latin America and the Caribbean on marine and freshwater conservation, and large-scale conservation planning in the Gulf of California, Galapagos and Mesoamerican Reef. A native of Cuba who has also lived in the US, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Switzerland, Jorge brings a truly global perspective to his new role.
Jorge holds a Master’s in Marine Policy from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor’s in Aquatic Biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
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