San Francisco, CA – Give2Asia, a San Francisco based social enterprise that specializes in international philanthropic investment, has announced a new partnership with the David & Lucile Packard Foundation and Our Source Consultancy to make Southeast Asia’s fishing industry more sustainable.
An initial US$100,000 grant will fund a scoping study to establish The Marine Change Enterprise (MCE), combining experts from Southeast Asia with 40 years of experience in seafood trading, fisheries management, and advocacy. Using for-profit and non-profit strategies, MCE will analyze the current state of Asia’s fishing industry using environmental, social, and economic criteria. MCE’s research will be used to improve the efficiency of the supply chain between small to medium sized regional fishing operations and Southeast Asian markets, creating sustainable and equitable fishing practices that are economically viable.
“Right now 30% of all fish caught in Asia is wasted before it even makes it to the marketplace,” explains Our Source Consultancy and MCE founder Andrew Bassford, “if the small-to-medium size fleets that dominate Asia can improve the efficiency of their operations, it will improve the supply chain as a whole.”
MCE’s work has global implications as well. Over the past 50 years, seafood production has shifted from the developed to the developing world. The Asia Pacific region alone produces over half of the world’s wild caught seafood and a staggering 90% of farmed seafood. Compounded by environmental degradation and climate change, the industry’s exponential growth has placed enormous stress on fish stocks, the fishing industry, and fishing dependent communities.
The uncertainty of Asia’s fishing industry has made it harder for local fishing communities to access needed funding from investors. In turn, Southeast Asian communities whose livelihoods have depended on fishing for generations have suffered an economic downturn, further perpetuating unsustainable fishing practices.
Despite the growing awareness of the private sector that current practices are not sustainable, the response by governments, NGOs, independent fisherman, and fishing fleets have not been collaborative, or comprehensive enough, to create substantial change. Give2Asia’s new partnership facilitates the broad response needed by experts, funders, and Southeast Asia’s fishing industry, to help reverse this trend.