Financing oceans for the future | WWF

Financing oceans for the future

Posted on 05 September 2012    
A fisherman casts his fishing net on the coast at sunset Gabon.
© Martin Harvey / WWF
WWF proposes the establishment of the FIRME as a full-scale solution to finance conservation without adversely impacting livelihoods.

“By providing loans to cover the upfront costs of conservation the FIRME will allow fish stocks to recover and ultimately generate profits exceeding the original investment,” explained Dr. Robert Rangeley, Vice President, WWF-Canada.

“Despite significant progress being made by sustainable seafood market-based approaches such as Marine Stewardship Council certification, short sighted management continues to impede fisheries recovery,” said Rangeley.

“What we need is a way to channel investment into the long term sustainability of fish stocks, which means investing in healthy ocean ecosystems. Focusing international attention on transition financing is the only way to ensure that depleted stocks recover and fishing communities thrive.”

Fisheries have become a dramatically underperforming asset. The 2008 FAO/World Bank report, The Sunken Billions, demonstrated that if fisheries were better managed, estimated yearly profits could be US$50 billion.

“Realising these benefits is rarely achieved because proposed conservation measures hit where it hurts – the wallet. The lessons learned from the Atlantic cod collapse show that we must find solutions that work for both nature and people,” added Dr. Robin Davies, Deputy Leader, Smart Fishing Initiative, WWF International. 

The FIRME has been designed to address this very issue. The system will work through loans, based on a credible sustainable management plan, secured against the value of future fish stocks. Loans will be repaid with interest once a certain baseline on profitability is reached, allowing the FIRME’s original capital to be reinvested into the fishery.

WWF is currently partnering with stakeholders interested in helping to create a global FIRME. The most likely candidate for a groundbreaking pilot would be Canada´s Grand Banks of Newfoundland.

Helen Pitman, Communications Manager, WWF International, +41 79 303 9633,

Note to the editor
Interviews with Dr. Robert Rangeley and Dr. Robin Davies available at International Seafood Summit, Hong Kong, Wednesday 5th September, 2012 please call Helen Pitman to arrange.

Photos: 2012-08-30: Financing the oceans future:

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WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries.  WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
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A fisherman casts his fishing net on the coast at sunset Gabon.
© Martin Harvey / WWF Enlarge

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