(Arlington, VA) Today, Rare announced that Rocky Sanchez Tirona has taken over as the new global head of its Fish Forever coastal fisheries program. Sanchez Tirona has served as Vice President of Rare Philippines since 2013, a role which recently expanded to overseeing Rare’s work in Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia. She was part of the initial development of the Fish Forever program and oversaw its growth in the Philippines, where it now reaches over 600 communities. As Managing Director of Fish Forever, Sanchez Tirona will oversee Rare’s largest program and a global staff of almost 100, spread across eight countries and four continents. The program was previously led by Dr. Steve Box.
In addition to her years of experience leading Fish Forever in the Philippines, Sanchez Tirona has a background in marketing communications. While working in the advertising sector, she shifted her focus to social issues and working with government, foundations and NGOs. Upon joining Rare, she brought with her an expertise in social marketing that has helped Rare’s work to engage coastal communities and promote responsible and sustainable fishing behaviors.
“I am humbled and honored to take on this role, and committed to Rare’s mission of inspiring change so people and nature thrive,” said Sanchez Tirona. “Coastal fisheries are facing immense challenges such as overfishing and climate change. I love that Fish Forever is able to empower communities by helping them use science, data and behavioral insights to make decisions on how to protect, manage and sustain their resources. Our team is fantastic—they’re smart, creative, and deeply invested in making a difference for the ocean and the communities we work in.”
“Fish Forever could have no better leader than Rocky,” said Brett Jenks, president and CEO of Rare. “She is a remarkable leader who has done so much – not only for Rare but for hundreds of communities across the Asia Pacific. We are all excited to see the program continue to grow under her leadership, improve lives and livelihoods of fishers, and safeguard our ocean on which we all depend.”
Launched in 2012, Fish Forever is a global leader in revitalizing coastal waters and empowering the communities that depend on them. Operating in eight countries, Fish Forever has engaged over 1,000 communities, 165,000 fishers, and nearly 1.6 million community members. The program has helped place nearly 5.6 million hectares of coastal waters under sustainable, community-directed management, and established 110,000 hectares of no-take marine reserves where fishing is off limits. Fish Forever has also helped establish 168 local management bodies, set up 435 Savings Clubs, and register nearly 85,000 fishers. This year, Rare also helped launch the Coastal 500, a global network of mayors and local leaders committed to safeguarding coastal fisheries and advocating for small-scale fishers.