New Principles Aim to Drive Investment in Sustainable Fisheries

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“At the World Ocean Summit held last month in Mexico, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and three impact funds – Meloy Fund, Encourage Capital and Althelia Ecosphere – announced the first-ever set of Principles for Investment in Sustainable Fisheries, aimed at bringing more money into an increasingly critical sector and growing global challenge.

“We think the principles really distill down the environmental and social issues that are critical to sustainable, profitable and responsible fisheries,” Tim Fitzgerald, Director of Impact at the Fishery Solutions Center, a project of EDF, said in a recent interview. “We’re very excited to see adopters put the Principles into practice to guide the development and execution of new sustainable fisheries investment projects.”

This could not be more timely, as awareness grows about how fisheries around the world are at risk from a wide range of factors. Overfishing is decimating species such as sushi favorite bluefin tuna, which is being caught at levels too high for the population to be able replace itself through natural reproduction. Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU) accounts for an estimated 30 percent of all catch in some fisheries, and is a particular problem in international waters and is connected to the use of slave labor. IUU operations often use tools like catch-all nets and other mass-catch tools, which increase ocean by-catch of endangered or threatened species such as turtles, dolphins or sharks, which are then discarded overboard dead or dying.” (…)

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