Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the launch of a five-year, $53 million initiative to end over-fishing and other practices that are destroying important marine areas and threatening the global supply of fish.
The Vibrant Oceans initiative will work to promote small-scale and industrial fishing practices designed to boost fish populations in Brazil, Chile, and the Philippines — which account for 7 percent of the world's fisheries — and serve as a model for future global reform efforts. Bloomberg Philanthropies is partnering on the initiative with international ocean conservation organization Oceana, which will focus on advocating for industrial fishing reforms such as catch limits; grassroots conservation organization Rare, which will work with coastal communities to implement management systems led by local fishers; and EKO Asset Management Partners, which will develop investment blueprints to attract private capital and financially reward local fishers and industrial fleets that successfully transition to sustainable fishing practices. The largest philanthropic commitment to date in support of international efforts to reform global fisheries management, the initiative also will be the first to integrate a private capital financing strategy into such reforms.
"The demand for food is expected to rise by at least 70 percent by the year 2050, but the supply of wild caught fish is declining," said Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless. "National governments have the power to stop destructive industrial fishing within two hundred nautical miles of shore, where most fish are caught. It's clear from the data that when governments enact and enforce the right policies, fish populations come back."
"While billions of people depend on fish for food or income, only 13 percent of the world’s fisheries are safe from being over-fished, presenting serious environmental and public health challenges," said Bloomberg Philanthropies founder Michael R. Bloomberg. "The investment we are making now will help bring more life back to our oceans — and protect them for future generations."