Implementation of the Rhode Island Commercial Fisheries Blueprint for Resilience began at a public launch event at the South Kingstown Elks Lodge on May 7, 2018. Over 130 people attended the event. They included members of the fishing community (fishermen and shoreside businesses) as well as the fishery support community (nonprofits, educators, communicators, investors, and government agencies with an interest in supporting local fisheries).
The event began with presentations by 14 fishermen, who used this unique platform to bring to life their lived experiences in Rhode Island fisheries. These accounts conveyed the sense that our local fishing industry has changed dramatically over the years and now confronts many unprecedented challenges. But speakers also imparted a strong sense of hope, determination, and a spirit of collaboration that laid the foundation for the second part of the event: seven breakout groups.
Each breakout group's charge was related to one of the seven key strategies outlined in the Blueprint for Resilience. In groups, participants strategized about next steps and formed the relationships necessary to carry them out. Notes from each of the seven breakout groups can be found by scrolling down.