With a growing list of adopters and endorsers, on March 8th Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Meloy Fund, and Encourage Capital launched new guidelines for investing in global fisheries to drive needed capital into scaling sustainably managed fisheries and restoring our oceans to abundance. The announcement was made at the World Ocean Summit 2018.
Although billions of public and private dollars are invested in fisheries every year, more often than not, sustainability is neither the driver nor the intended outcome of those investment dollars. That means we are currently missing a major opportunity to solve the global overfishing and food security problem, which requires significantly more and better-aligned investment from a variety of capital providers.
The Principles for Investment in Sustainable Fisheries, are designed to do just that—to move new and sidelined capital into fishery investments, align that capital with responsible management, and give investors confidence that building environmental and social sustainability into fisheries will also yield a return on their investments. The Principles also train a spotlight on human rights for investors, especially when it comes to bringing new capital to small-scale fisheries and coastal communities. They have already been endorsed or adopted by more than 15 foundations, investment funds, project developers, and non-profit organizations.
“The Principles reinforce the notion that good management, science, and monitoring and enforcement are not only critical to sustainable fishing—but to sustainable investments, too,” said Amanda Leland, EDF Senior Vice President, Oceans. “Governance reform is the foundation of sustainable fisheries management and investment because it de-risks the system. Our hope is that these Principles will help drive investment and allow us to scale sustainable fisheries and restore our seas to health more quickly. That would be welcome news for hundreds of millions of people around the world, especially the poorest and most vulnerable communities that rely on the oceans to meet their most basic everyday needs.”
Momentum is building for the guidelines. The three major fisheries impact funds—Meloy Fund, Encourage Capital and Althelia Ecosphere—have agreed to adopt the Principles as founding adopters and apply them in investment decisions.
“Rare and the Meloy Fund decided to join forces with EDF and Encourage to co-author and become a founding adopter to these Principles because we are committed to establishing a sustainable wild-caught fisheries investment sector that prioritizes the best outcomes for ocean resources and fishing communities. We need to help define a common ground for the impact investing field and we are already applying these Principles routinely as part of our due diligence and supervision processes,” said Manuel Bueno, Fund Director at Meloy Fund.
The Principles apply globally to all debt and equity investment products deployed to finance a project and/or company, and where the project or company has or is expected to have an impact on wild-caught fisheries and their associated ecosystems and communities. Modeled after the Equator Principles, they complement existing guidelines and frameworks governing environmentally and socially responsible investment.
“Encourage is proud to be a part of the development of these sustainable fisheries Principles under the leadership of EDF. We believe these principles take into account the market-based research and practical experiences of commercial investment organizations that are trying to lead the way in demonstrating how deploying private capital into sustainable fishing and seafood companies is good for investors and good for the oceans,” said Jason Scott, Co-Managing Partner at Encourage Capital.
“Althelia is a founding adopter of these Principles because we wholeheartedly believe that sustainable fisheries investing can bring about the best possible environmental and social outcomes: healthy oceans, nutritious food, good jobs,” said Simon Dent, New Ventures Director at Althelia Ecosphere. “We look forward to applying these Principles to support the Sustainable Ocean Fund’s investment activity and decisions.”
The Principles are expected to be endorsed by non-investor institutions such as non-profit organizations, project developers, philanthropic foundations, and other public and private stakeholders interested in promoting the sustainable management of fisheries through investment.
An up-to-date list of adopters and endorsers can be found at www.fisheriesprinciples.org.
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Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.
The Meloy Fund is an impact investment fund that will incentivize the development and adoption of sustainable fisheries by making debt and equity investments in fishing-related enterprises that support the recovery of coastal fisheries in Indonesia and the Philippines. The General Partner of the Fund is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rare. To learn more about the Meloy Fund, please visit http://www.meloyfund.com.
Encourage Capital is a research driven, solutions focused asset management firm based in New York City. A unique partnership of disciplined investors and creative problem-solvers, the firm is working with major asset owners to deploy investment capital to solve problems like global fisheries decline, climate change, and bringing financial services to the world’s poor. Our investment process relies on a systemic analysis of a specific problem, and designs a commercial investment solution to that problem. We invest in companies that are integral to that solution.
Encourage Pescador Holdings, co-created and anchored by Zoma Capital, the family office of Ben and Lucy Ana Walton, invests in companies in the rapidly growing sustainable seafood space. Pescador targets profitable seafood businesses with growth potential across Latin America, as well as U.S. businesses that provide branded distribution. Pescador seeks to generate commercial financial returns and drive systemic impact through vertically integrating the seafood supply chain, increasing investee access to high-value markets, and promoting the protection and recovery of wild fish stocks.
Althelia Ecosphere has been established to demonstrate that investment returns can be fully aligned with the preservation of nature and social development and is committed to bringing its expertise and capital to deliver innovative solutions to climate and environmental finance. The Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund is a new public-private partnership dedicated to creating, accelerating, and implementing sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and blue economy projects in developing countries and small island states. The fund is pioneering an approach to deploy meaningful investment capital to support sustainable marine projects over the long term, thereby accelerating the transition to sustainable business models and improved environmental stewardship of ocean resources. Althelia manages investment funds with a diverse portfolio of investments from Africa, Latin America and Asia that comprise of real assets and environmental services. To find out more about how Althelia is working see www.althelia.com
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