One important factor that prevents the recovery of fish stocks is the lack of financial security for fishers when faced with the costs of necessary conservation measures. This is a major obstacle to overcome.
Also, fisheries funds should be better spent by re-directing them to provide financial support to sustainable fishing practices, providing a threefold environmental, economic and social return.
some 38 million people fish for living
tens of millions more people work in the seafood processing sector
billions of people depend on fish as a source of proteine
What WWF is doing
WWF collaborates with public and private financial institutions and other partners to help fund long-term fisheries recovery and promote investment in sustainable fisheries.
Conservation at scale is what we focus on. WWF engages with private and public financial institutions (eg. development and ethical banks) to promote mechanisms that increase the flow of finance to sustainable fisheries, making the transition to sustainable fishing a reality.
WWF works extensively via its global partnerships with over 10 leading banks, and with the financial sectors as a whole, to help drive improvement in the fisheries sector.
In response to their interests and concerns in these high-impact sectors, WWF has helped partners benchmark their lending and investing policies, train staff in implementation, and develop major new financial products in sustainable soft commodities.
Financial Institution for the Recovery of Marine Ecosystems (FIRME)
One of the central challenges in moving the world towards sustainability is finding ways to ensure that the transition is socially and economically viable.
WWF designed the Financial Institution for the Recovery of Marine Ecosystems (FIRME) which offers investors the opportunity to finance the upfront costs of conservation whilest safeguarding industry incomes. Recovered fish stocks and profitability (increases in the order of 400%) will allow recovery costs to be recouped with interest which can be fed back into the FIRME turning it into a "revolving" fund.
A groundbreaking pilot project in Canada´s Grand Banks of Newfoundland is currently being implemented with various stakeholders, eventually allowing similar recovery projects in fisheries all over the world.
Together with the GEF (Global Environment Facility former branch of the World Bank) and the FAO (UN-Food and Agriculture Organisation), WWF has developed a new programme, Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction or ABNJ to change international fisheries into sustainable fisheries with a special focus on tuna; tuna bycatch and tuna fishing.