July 14, 2016

Report Offers Investment Strategies for Sustainable Fisheries

News Source: Philanthropy News Digest

Private capital financing strategies can help support efforts to reform fishery management practices, protect marine biodiversity, and restore global seafood production, a report from Encourage Capital finds.

Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Rockefeller Foundation as part of their Vibrant Oceans and Oceans & Fisheries initiatives, the report, Investing for Sustainable Global Fisheries (424 pages, PDF), offers six different blueprints for investments in fisheries in Brazil, Chile, and the Philippines, which together account for 7 percent of the global fish supply. Developed in collaboration with conservation groups Oceana and Rare, the blueprints propose the bundling of investments in seafood companies and fishery assets with complementary investments aimed at improving fishery management. Such investments, the report suggests, could generate equity returns of between 5 percent and 35 percent.

By supporting fishery reform efforts aimed at increasing the biomass of distressed stocks, reducing bycatch, and protecting and restoring critical marine habitats, such investments also would enhance the income and resilience of and empower fishing communities. "While food security economists project that we will need to increase seafood supplies by 70 percent over the next several decades to keep pace with economic and population growth, fisheries around the world are already overexploited," said Encourage Capital partner and co-founder Ricardo Bayon.

"To solve the complex problems facing our world today, like the health of Earth's oceans, requires innovative thinking and, increasingly, more resources than philanthropy and government alone can provide — which is why it's vital to surface new ways of unlocking private capital for public good," said Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin. "These investment blueprints demonstrate the important role for impact investors to play in increasing the health and productivity of coastal fisheries."