Vibrant Oceans

USING AN INTEGRATED STRATEGY TO CURB OVER-FISHING AND KEEP OUR OCEANS THRIVING

(Photo Credit: Jason Houston/ Rare)

The Bloomberg Philanthropies Vibrant Oceans Initiative supports a groundbreaking approach to reform both local and industrial fishing simultaneously. Our approach integrates financial strategies to ease the transition to more sustainable fishing.

THE DEMAND FOR FISH IS RISING WHILE THE SUPPLY IS RAPIDLY DECLINING

One billion people rely on fish as their primary source of protein. As the world’s population continues to grow, so will the demand for fish – which is projected to rise by over 20% by the year 2030. Meanwhile, over-fishing, or taking more fish than can be naturally replaced, is depleting the global population of fish. The amount of fish caught worldwide peaked in the 1990s and has since declined. Factors that lead to over-Fishing:

  • TOO MUCH CAPACITY:

    Industrial ships are able to catch two times more fish than exist in the ocean.

  • DESTRUCTIVE HABITS:

    Bottom-trawling, or dragging a heavy net along the ocean floor, in some cases discards 10 lbs of marine life (dead or dying) for every 1 lb of marine life caught. Other dangerous practices include dynamite and cyanide fishing, which damage coral reefs.

  • WEAK GOVERNANCE:

    Limits on the number of fish that can be caught are set too high in many places or do not exist at all, diminishing fish stocks and not allowing fish to repopulate.

The good news is that marine ecosystems can rebound relatively quickly if caught in time. The factors that led to mismanagement must be addressed now in order to replenish fish populations and to help meet the dietary needs of a growing global population.

APPLYING A GROUNDBREAKING APPROACH TO RESTORE FISH POPULATIONS

Proper management of fisheries can increase the number of fish in the ocean by 50%. Most of the world’s fisheries are within national boundaries, allowing countries to implement management policies that can protect against harmful over-fishing. But we need a comprehensive approach that helps replenish fish populations more quickly, and creates a more sustainable and fruitful environment for all fishers. That’s why Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the Vibrant Oceans Initiative, a $53 million, 5-year effort to boost fish populations in Brazil, the Philippines and Chile. Reforming fishing practices in these countries will revitalize 7% of the world’s fisheries. Bloomberg Philanthropies is applying a groundbreaking approach to fisheries management that for the first time will focus on reforming both industrial and local fishing simultaneously. Reforming both in the same place at the same time will have a much larger impact than targeting one or the other because local fishers and industrial vessels catch roughly equal amounts of fish for food. To put this bold approach into motion, the Bloomberg Philanthropies Vibrant Oceans Initiative brings together three world-class partners with distinct areas of expertise:

  1. OCEANA: INDUSTRIAL FISHING

    More than 80% of the world’s fisheries are either overexploited, at risk of becoming so, or recovering from overexploitation. Oceana is advocating for national policies that help reform large-scale, industrial fishing practices. These policies include working with governments to set and enforce science-based limits on the amount of fish that can be caught, and reduce the amount of sea life that is unintentionally caught and killed then discarded back into the ocean.

  2. RARE: LOCAL FISHING

    There are 12 million small-scale fishers that operate within 15 km from shore. Rare is working with local governments, organizations and residents in coastal communities to implement more sustainable fishing management systems with local fishers in mind. Reforms include exclusive fishing rights for coastal fishers in exchange for creating protected areas where fish are able to reproduce unharmed.

  3. EKO ASSET MANAGEMENT PARTNERS: FINANCING

    Both local and industrial fishers tend to over-fish for basic survival, or due to the short-term economic benefits. As an alternative to harmful over-fishing, EKO Asset Management is developing investment blueprints that will let private capital create financial incentives and rewards for fishers who transition to more sustainable fishing practices.

The Bloomberg Philanthropies Vibrant Oceans Initiative is the largest philanthropic commitment to internationally reform fisheries management. This effort will help Brazil, Chile and the Philippines sustainably manage their fisheries, enhance food security and strengthen local communities. Vibrant Oceans’ groundbreaking approach to fisheries reform has the potential to be scaled to other parts of the world, and to substantially change the way coastal communities and the fishing industry operate. By encouraging more responsible fishing globally, we can protect our oceans and a vital source of food and income for future generations.

YOU’RE PART OF THE SOLUTION, TOO. WANT TO GET INVOLVED?

  1. SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

    Get quick and easy tips from Oceana to make marine-friendly choices.
  2. GET LOCAL

    See how community-based solutions can help address global conservation challenges.
  3. LEARN MORE

    Access the latest data on global fish consumption and production through the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s report on the state of the world’s fisheries.
  4. ACCESS THE BLUEPRINTS

    Free investment strategies are available for NGOs, investors or others interested in restoring fish and seafood supply in our oceans.