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SubsidyExplorer Tool: Design for Decisions

The SubsidyExplorer Tool

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), nearly 60% of the world’s fish stocks are being exploited at unsustainable levels, posing a risk for future stock collapses. This would harm food security, marine ecosystems, and fishing economies across the world. Much of these practices are enabled by harmful fisheries subsidies that incentivize fisheries to prioritize profits over sustainable measures.

About Fisheries Subsidies

Fisheries subsidies can be beneficial and aimed towards activities like sustainable management, research on fish populations, and helping fishers survive a lean season. However, other fisheries subsidies can be potentially harmful, because they may contribute to the overexploitation of fish stocks. These subsidies, paid to help offset the costs of vessel fuel, upgrades, renovations, and other expenses, enable fleets to fish farther from shore and longer than they otherwise would.

Pew SubsidyExplorer for fisheries subsidies
Comparative charting and mapping provide key insights into global and regional fishing subsidy trends.

In response to these issues, Pew Charitable Trusts, with help from the Environmental Market Solutions Lab (emLab), developed the SubsidyExplorer tool. This powerful application lets policymakers and leaders simulate legislative goals and feasibility for fishing policy reform. In collaboration with Pew, Blue Raster assisted in the design of the tool’s interface and workflow to create a web application tool that is easier to understand, navigate, and execute.

Pew SubsidyExplorer Tool
The Tool gives users concise yet informative information in each of the sections.

About the Tool

The tool allows users to explore subsidy reform scenarios with pre-populated policy proposals or custom-made proposals. Clear and concise queues guide the user through a step-by-step workflow to select factors and parameters for their desired legislative goals and outcomes. Side panels also display workflow progress, remaining steps, and chosen parameters in the workflow. Additionally, the SubsidyExplorer tool generates comparative charting mapping visuals to provide the reader with a deeper understanding of their specified policy reform scenarios, which they can print and share with others.

The SubsidyExplorer tool is the latest example of how Blue Raster leverages design to improve web application effectiveness and enhance user experiences. As a result, Pew can provide a powerful tool for policymakers and decisionmakers around the globe to plan, propose, and enact urgent ocean policy issues. Now that’s a big catch!

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