2014 just might be the most exciting year yet for Oceana. A recent grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies will allow us to open offices in two new countries – Brazil and the Philippines – in addition to furthering our existing campaigns in Chile. You can read more about the grant and Oceana’s new offices in this article, featured in the recent issue of Oceana magazine…
New Horizons: Bloomberg Takes Oceana to Brazil and the Philippines
We have big news for the oceans: Oceana is a joint recipient of a $53 million, five-year grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to rebuild fish populations in three of the world’s largest fishing nations: Brazil, Chile, and the Philippines, which account for more than 7 percent of the global catch of seafood by weight. Called the Vibrant Oceans initiative, this grant is the largest philanthropic commitment for international reform of fisheries management.
“Everyone who cares about rebuilding ocean fisheries should feel immensely encouraged by this announcement,” says Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless. “The Vibrant Oceans initiative allows truly global-scale action to rebuild the world’s oceans, and this moment is terrifically encouraging for everyone who fought to restore ocean abundance.”
Ocean conservation and international food security are inextricably connected. The world’s human population is expected to pass 9 billion people by 2050. Although that’s a 30 percent increase in population from current levels, the UN predicts that our demand for food for will actually grow by 70 percent, as rising incomes increase the demand for a meat-heavy, western-style diet. Right now 1 billion people on this planet suffer from hunger, and we don’t have enough arable land and fresh water to feed 2 billion more without incurring massive losses to biodiversity. Seafood will be critical to ensuring that the world’s growing population doesn’t go hungry, but 87 percent of fisheries around the world have come close to, reached, or exceeded their limits.
“By restoring abundance in our oceans we can feed nearly a billion people a healthy seafood meal each day and benefit biodiversity,” says Sharpless. “Oceana’s results-driven approach works, and we are delighted that Bloomberg’s support will allow us to win more victories for our oceans.”
In partnership with the other Bloomberg Philanthropies grant recipients, Rare and EKO Asset Management, Oceana will rebuild critical fisheries in Chile, Brazil, and the Philippines. Oceana will reform industrial fishing by advocating for national policy changes that can increase fish abundance, like setting and enforcing science-based quotas, reducing bycatch, and protecting critical habitat. Working at the other end of the fisheries spectrum, Rare will empower artisanal fishermen by working with coastal communities to create exclusive fishing rights for local fishers, along with the creating and strengthening protected areas.