A New Approach to Fisheries Conservation Investments

Catalyzing fisheries conservation investment

A paper titled “Catalyzing fisheries conservation investment” published in Frontiers in Ecology and Environment highlights the need for new and innovative approaches to financing fisheries conservation to adequately address the environmental, social and economic needs of the world’s seafood sector.

The growing Ocean Outcomes team are leading the development of one such solution.

Read more about our business-driven, triple impact approach to the challenges facing many of the world’s small scale fishers. This approach focuses on harnessing untapped financing and increasing profitability in small scale fishing enterprises to improve livelihoods and ecosystem health; creating a positive feedback loop for people, planet and profit.

Fisheries underpin the livelihoods, food security and social fabric of coastal communities across the world.

In many developing countries, fish is the primary or only source of animal protein, and globally it’s estimated seafood seafood is the primary source of protein for 3 of 7 people. However, despite their importance, fisheries and those which rely on them for food and livelihood face significant economic, social and environmental challenges.

Overfishing and harmful fishing practices persist, reducing fish populations and marine biodiversity. Social and gender inequality and forced labor are prevalent in many fisheries. A lack of effective and accurately directed investments in the sector have limited the long term viability of the fishery and ability for fisher-based livelihoods to flourish.

Authored by leading researchers in the field, the paper argues that to date, a lack of private sector investment and investment vehicles which generate financial returns have limited the effectiveness of fisheries conservation initiatives.

This paper validates and supports the new fisheries finance approaches we’ve developed.

According to the authors, new investment models operating at the nexus of science, management, seafood and finance could help fisheries produce “substantially more seafood while supporting healthier fish populations and increased economic opportunities for fishing communities.”

The paper’s summary can be seen below and the full article can be found online.

Catalyzing fisheries conservation investment

Wild‐caught fish account for approximately one‐half of all seafood consumed globally, yet there is strong evidence that improved science and management are needed to ensure the biological, economic, and social sustainability of this critical food source. Presently, insufficient resources are allocated to achieve such sustainability, but conservation finance offers promising new sources of funding for this necessary endeavor. We surveyed the most recent literature on conservation finance and interviewed practitioners to identify key obstacles and solutions to advancing fisheries conservation investments. We found that obstacles constraining these investments are also common in other, more mature conservation sectors. Solutions developed in these sectors – namely, capacity building, novel investment vehicles, increased communication among stakeholders, and better metrics – could help to overcome barriers to investment. As fisheries sustainability improvements require cooperation across the sciences, business, and finance communities, we hope this article will spur interest among these diverse stakeholders and catalyze fisheries conservation investment.