Fisheries Improvement Fund

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Leadership in the Blue Economy: Financing Fishery Recovery

Towards a Fisheries Improvement Fund

World Wildlife Fund, in collaboration with Finance Earth, has been working to develop the concept for an innovative blue finance mechanism – the Fisheries Improvement Fund – with the aim of reversing the global trend of fisheries decline. Sustainable finance is critical to scaling the transition towards more sustainable fisheries; we need new models that are efficient, equitable, and cost effective for key stakeholders. We believe that proving innovative concepts in the real world, such as this, will lead the way towards the establishment of a sustainable blue economy.

Fisheries are an inherently renewable resource if managed well and can provide more fish, more predictable and resilient incomes and deliver higher environmental benefits if we invest in their recovery and continued management.

© James Morgan  / WWF-US

THE MODEL SEEKS TO


  • Raise recoverable grants or forgivable loans to provide upfront financing to eligible FIP Implementers to deliver FIP workplans.

  • Obtain commitments from supply chain companies participating and benefiting from the FIPs to support the projects through a seafood volume-based fee, providing a predictable, long-term revenue stream.

  • Deploy capital when and where it is needed to recover fisheries and document clear environmental, social and economic impact.

HOW IT WORKS


The concept for the Fisheries Improvement Fund is to provide upfront funding for the implementation of Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) by experienced partners on the ground and establish a repayment mechanism based on fish purchased by participating companies. This innovative approach is based on the business case for seafood companies to invest in the long-term viability of their seafood supplies, thus reducing supply chain volatility and risk while enhancing business value and protecting reputations. It allows for capital to be channeled at speed and scale towards addressing the most critical ecological and social issues in target fisheries, ensuring that fish stocks and fishing communities can reap the benefits of sustainable fishing into the future.

THE VALUE PROPOSITION FOR BUSINESS


Stabilize fishery yields and reduce supply chain volatility
Reduce sourcing risk and improve brand image
Establish equitable, transparent, and efficientcost structures for funding FIPs
Be at the forefront of innovation

Why do we Need this Funding Model?

The lack of significant, long-term financing for fisheries improvement represents a barrier to scaling current efforts. It is not possible to increase the pace and scale of change without addressing how those changes are funded. This concept directly addresses this need by tackling the challenges associated with traditional funding for improving fisheries, including constant fundraising efforts that lead to piecemeal activities; lack of transparency, standardization, and efficiency in budgeting; high transaction costs; and minimal private sector participation. This model aims to mainstream sustainability into private sector business models and create a mechanism that provides a consistent source of funds for FIP implementation.

© Yawar Motion Films / WWF-Peru


COLLABORATION AND DESIGN TO TEST THE FINANCING MODEL


World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is working with Finance Earth, experts in impact investment and fund management, through a multi-stakeholder initiative with leading industry players to design and pilot this financing concept aimed at delivering global fishery recovery at scale. This collaboration will focus on reversing the trend of fisheries decline and scaling global fisheries improvements for healthier marine ecosystems, thriving fishing communities, and a sustainable blue economy. Once established, this new mechanism will secure much-needed funding for implementing Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), attract new capital providers, and establish a return mechanism based on participating companies’ contributing toward a long-term, volume-based fee. Testing this model in the real world will provide a replicable and scalable model that can serve as a blueprint for a potential global Fisheries Improvement Fund in the future.

THE TEAM


World Wildlife Fund (US)

WWF has over a decade of experience working at the nexus of markets and fisheries to improve seafood sustainability. Since the outset, WWF has led the development of the global FIP approach to drive the improvement of large- and small-scale fisheries around the world and has worked with hundreds of fisheries to help improve their sustainability. 

Finance Earth

Finance Earth is the UK’s leading environmental impact investment boutique, providing financial advisory and fund management services across the natural and built environment. Finance Earth helps to create projects – and the investment vehicles to fund them – that balance positive outcomes for nature, communities and investors. 

COMPANY PARTICIPANTS

Offtake Agreement Participants: Offtake companies will be contributing a per MT contribution to fund the FIPs under the pilot.

Retailers and Corporate Philanthropic Support Participants: Leaders in driving more sustainable seafood production globally and supporting fishery improvement projects.

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