Environmental Conservation: Oceans and Seafood Markets Initiative

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation


Grant amount: US $50,000 - US $2,000,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Organizations

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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Overview:

Oceans and Seafood Markets Initiative

Fostering responsible fishing and fish farming as the marketplace norm.

Feeding humanity in 2050—when the world’s population is expected to be between 9 and 10 billion—will require a 70 percent increase in global food production, and seafood is a protein source already in high demand.

A complex web of root causes, including economic incentives aligned with overexploitation rather than good stewardship, de facto open-access fishing and fisheries governance, insufficient data and weak enforcement make optimal management of the world’s fisheries and aquaculture farms challenging. Today, 85 percent of the world’s fish stocks are fully exploited or in decline.

Now more than ever, maintaining the productive capacity and integrity of marine ecosystems requires that we catch and produce seafood without engendering severe ecological impacts. We believe marine ecosystems can be safeguarded by re-orienting market demand for seafood and the decision-making systems that drive conservation solutions. In collaboration with the private sector, our grant recipients can help demonstrate the market value of improved fisheries and farm management, so that companies—and consumers—have the incentive to transition and help drive wide reform.

The Oceans and Seafood Markets Initiative is interlinked with and designed to complement our Forests and Agricultural Markets Initiative and our Conservation and Financial Markets Initiative

The Oceans and Seafood Markets Initiative is working to protect marine and coastal ecosystems by improving aquaculture practices and the health and abundance of wild-capture fish stocks. We are working with key partners to accomplish that goal by encouraging leading companies to implement sustainable sourcing commitments for top-traded seafood commodities, and, without displacement, to eliminate overfishing and coastal habitat degradation resulting from the production. To that end, we focus on three strategies, targeting the following outcomes:

  • Private Sector Leadership: The business case for decoupling production from environmental degradation has been established, resulting in increases of key market commitments to source sustainable seafood and make meaningful progress toward implementing those commitments.
  • Transparency: A leading group of key market companies make and implement commitments to track, verify and publicly report progress toward eliminating and reforming unsustainable products from their supply chains, with systems developed to enable uptake.
  • Aligning Capital: An improved understanding of the business case for investing in sustainable seafood results in an increase in the amount of capital aligned toward sustainable production of target commodities.

Seafood Collaboration

Collaboration between non-profit and private sector actors is essential to achieve these outcomes. The initiative encourages that collaboration through a fiscal sponsor relationship with New Ventures Fund (GBMF5208) and direct consultation with multiple non-profit and seafood industry advisers collectively working toward a shared goal and on the dozens of complementary market-focused activities needed to achieve it.

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