I have an exciting announcement about Oceana’s efforts to save the oceans and feed the world: The Wyss Foundation will provide up to $10 million in matching funds over the next five years to help Oceana rebuild fisheries in Peru and Canada.
Peru and Canada are two of the most important and productive fishing nations in the world. Peru has historically been the world’s largest fishing nation by weight of landed catch. Canada is the 16th largest fishing nation and has the potential to provide 50 percent more fish on a sustainable basis than it currently catches. Together, these two countries account for close to 14 percent of all the wild ocean fish landed by weight in the world.
The Wyss Foundation's commitment will literally help Oceana save the oceans and feed the world. Implementing science-based improvements to fishery policy in these two countries can both greatly increase the amount of the fish landed worldwide and restore health to our oceans. With the addition of Peruvian and Canadian offices, Oceana will now be campaigning in countries that control close to 40 percent of the wild fish caught in our oceans.
Through the Wyss Foundation grant, Oceana will support scientists and policy experts in Canada and Peru who are working toward three outcomes that are proven to recover fisheries around the world: establishing science-based catch limits, reduction of bycatch (the incidental catch of non-targeted animals), and protection of important marine habitat.
The Wyss Foundation, which has long supported locally-driven efforts to conserve public lands in the American West, is making its first major investment in ocean conservation with this grant. The grant for Canada will be matched by commitments from seven other funders.
As you know, earlier this year Bloomberg Philanthropies committed $53 million to Oceana, Rare, and EKO Asset Management, as part of its Vibrant Oceans Initiative, to support rebuilding fish populations and improve food security in Brazil, the Philippines, and Chile — all countries that are also on Oceana’s list of the top 30 fishing countries.
All of my colleagues at Oceana applaud the Wyss Foundation’s vision, courage, and leadership on this issue, and we are proud to have its support. I look forward to writing to you in the near future with news from these two new countries.
For the oceans,
Chief Executive Officer