July 11, 2016

Wyss Foundation Awards $8 Million for Ocean Conservation

News Source: Philanthropy News Digest

The Washington, D.C.-based Wyss Foundation has announced a five-year, $8 million commitment in support of science-based policies that ensure robust and resilient global marine ecosystems and help rebuild fisheries in Mexico.

Grants were awarded to Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation, and Oceans 5, an international marine funders collaborative. The grant to Oceana will support the efforts of scientists and experts in Mexico working to implement policies that reduce bycatch, establish science-based catch limits, and conserve important marine habitats. The award to Oceans 5, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, will support the group's efforts to ensure that at least half the world's fisheries are sustainably managed within fifteen years.

The $1.4 billion-a-year commercial fishery in Mexico, one of the thirty countries that control more than 90 percent of the world’s wild fish catch, is threatened by unsustainable fishing practices and a lack of effective fishery policy that have contributed to widespread declines in Pacific Bluefin tuna, sardines, and other species. In 2014, Wyss and Oceana launched a $10 million effort to restore fisheries and ocean health in Peru and Canada.

"After decades of worsening pollution and overfishing, we now know that science-based improvements to fishery policy can restore the health and productivity of our planet’s oceans," said philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss, who signed the Giving Pledge in 2013. "In Mexico — as in Peru and Canada — we are proud to support locally focused efforts to rebuild collapsed fisheries, sustain the harvest of wild seafood, and bring life back to the oceans."