21 November 2019 – Ocean Outcomes is the newest portfolio member of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation and the first organization working in ocean conservation supported by the global venture philanthropy firm.
DRK Foundation invests exclusively in high-impact potential organizations, reviewing hundreds of opportunities annually, but selecting only a handful in which to invest. DRK Foundation chose Ocean Outcomes as an investee given the potential impact of a new economics-driven approach to small-scale fisheries reform that Ocean Outcomes is developing.
“Small-scale fisheries provide half of the world’s wild caught seafood,” said Steve McCormick, Managing Director at DRK Foundation. “Yet aid, support and investment in the sector are just a fraction of what they need to be to ensure those fisheries – and the fishers whose livelihoods depend on them – are well-sustained. We were particularly attracted to Ocean Outcomes’ development of forward-thinking fishery improvement models commensurate with the sector’s significance and needs.”
Forward-thinking models to small-scale fisheries development
The model Ocean Outcomes is building supports small-scale fishers to improve business practices, recapturing value lost through inefficiency, waste or inequity. Better business practices lead to increased profits, which are then used, in part, to subsidize and support work addressing the environmental and social issues plaguing many of the world’s small-scale fisheries.
The $300,000 investment will help Ocean Outcomes finalize the components of the new model, which include a quantifying tool to predict value associated with environmental, social and economic optimization.
“We’re able to support the fishers with training and resources to conduct profitable businesses, but it’s also an investment assessment mechanism for development agencies and seafood companies hoping to improve supply,” said Ocean Outcomes President and CEO Dick Jones. “Add in that the entire approach incentivizes environmental and social improvement and it’s a real win-win-win solution.”
A key focus of DRK Foundation’s investments is entrepreneurial support and mentorship for social innovators. Steve – whose prior positions include guiding The Nature Conservancy for six years as its President and CEO and leading the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation as its President – will join the Ocean Outcomes Board as its eighth member to help guide the organization towards fulfilling its mission.