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Common Oceans - A partnership for sustainability in the ABNJ

Fishery business case development process in the Caribbean completed

9 January 2019

By the end of 2018, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Conservation International (CI) and partners completed the process of developing a series of fishery assessments in the Caribbean, as part of the Common Oceans ABNJ Ocean Partnership Project (OPP).

The Common Oceans ABNJ Ocean Partnerships Project of FAO, implemented by the World Bank and funded by the Global Environment Fund, aims to support investments in better managed fisheries targeting migratory stocks that straddle developing countries' coastal jurisdictions and areas beyond national jurisdiction. The Project's six sub-projects addresses economic, social and environmental inefficiencies within their involved fisheries, and contributes to increasing sustainable and net economic benefits to coastal and island developing countries, while enhancing ocean biodiversity conservation.

© Maria Honig, WWF Responsible Fisheries Programme / Marine Photobank

The efforts resulted in the completion of three attractive business cases for improving the biological, social and economic performance of tuna and billfish fisheries in Grenada and in the Dominican Republic, as well as a comprehensive assessment of the viability of the business case for investing in the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission of FAO (WECAFC). All three documents can be accessed and downloaded via the links provided below.

The fishery business cases were among the main outputs required by the OPP, and were used to attract private-sector investment to improve the economic, social and environmental performance of the tuna and billfish fisheries in the pilot countries; as such, the business cases contributed directly to the project development objective to "catalyze pilot investment into selected transformational public-private partnerships that mainstream the sustainable management of highly migratory fish stocks spanning areas within and beyond national jurisdictions".

In order to effectively catalyze investment, as well as to ensure stakeholder buy-in, the business cases were shared with project and external partners at the following meetings:

  1. GEF/LME:LEARN 2nd Annual Latin America – Caribbean Regional Network Meeting in Panama on October 1-2nd 2018.
  2. 6th Meeting of the Consortium on Billfish Management and Conservation on October 4-7th 2018 in Grenada.
  3. Terminal Caribbean Billfish Project workshop in the Dominican Republic on October 18th 2018.
  4. Investor shark-tank event at the 9th Biennial International Waters Conference (IWC9) organized by the GEF in Marrakesh, Morocco.
  5. Global High-Level Conference on the Global Sustainable Blue Economy in Nairobi, Kenya on November 26-28th 2018.
  6. The Final Grenada Tuna Business Case was then shared at a fishery stakeholder engagement workshop on December 10th 2018, which resulted in the signing of a Letter of Intent for holistic improvement of the tuna and billfish fisheries in Grenada by fishermen, government representatives and mid-supply chain partners.
  7. The Dominican Republic business case was also shared with Althelia's Sustainable Ocean Fund and Blue Finance on October 4th 2018, focusing particularly on integrating the spawning area and potential fish aggregating device management trust into the proposed protected area trust being established by Blue Finance, Althelia, and the Dominican Republic Government.

Additional impact investment into a subset of the fishery business cases in the Caribbean is expected to follow within the next year, particularly in Grenada through a potential concessionary loan from a private family-foundation. Blue Finance and Althelia also expressed support for the approach in the Dominican Republic, and proposed a joint fundraising approach with CI and FAO to secure the necessary resources to implement the business cases.

Access documents here:

For more information, please contact:
GEF World Bank CI Common Oceans