The Walton Family Foundation has announced a five-year, $36.6 million initiative to create and promote sustainable seafood markets in five countries that are critically important to the sustainable seafood movement.
Building on twenty years of success, the foundation's initiative is part of its 2016-20 ocean strategy, which takes a systems approach — working on both the supply and demand sides — to drive sustainability in five core countries: Indonesia, Peru, Chile, Mexico, and the United States. To that end, the foundation is working to empower fishermen and local communities through rights-based management approaches that provide them with secure tenure rights; encourage science-based decisions about annual catch limits, habitat protection, and timelines with respect to rebuilding fish stocks; and harness the market in support of healthy fisheries practices.
To complement the work that other foundations already are doing, WFF's seafood markets strategy will focus on creating incentives that drive demand for sustainably fished seafood in the countries where it matters most — the U.S., Japan, and Spain. As importers of nearly two-thirds of the world's globally traded seafood products, the three countries buy more than $3.66 billion a year in seafood exports from Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Indonesia. The foundation's strategy is designed to encourage the seafood industry to make investments — of money, time, and brainpower — in programs and practices that raise fishers' incomes and improve the quality of life for individual fishermen and fishing communities in the four target countries.
"The sustainable seafood movement has made remarkable progress over the past twenty years," said Teresa Ish, who leads the foundation's seafood markets initiative. "With nearly three hundred certified fisheries and almost every major retailer in the U.S., Canada, and northern Europe committed to sourcing sustainable seafood, sustainability is quite simply an integral part of running a modern seafood business. This strategy builds upon that momentum with a focus on incentivizing change in the countries that need it most."
To see who else is funding and working on sustainable fishing efforts, check out Foundation Center's FundingtheOcean.org data portal.