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:
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.
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.
ENCOURAGE CAPITAL: 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, Encourage Capital 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.