Supporting Sustainable Fisheries Through the Fish 2.0 Competition

Dipnote U.S. Department of State Official Blog
  • Judith Cefkin
  • April 24, 2015

The negative impacts of climate change are all too common in the Pacific Islands. Islands face a real threat of sea level rise and are increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters, as we saw with Super Cyclone Pam, which devastated Vanuatu in March. As Secretary Kerry highlighted during last year’s Our Ocean Conference, the ocean is essential to maintaining the environment in which we all live. The need for sustainable approaches to business and utilizing natural resources is increasingly evident, and it’s reassuring to see the small and medium sized businesses taking on this challenge.

Last month I met 30 inspiring entrepreneurs from Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands at a Fish 2.0 capacity development workshop in Nadi, Fiji. Supported by the State Department through the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA) and co-hosted by the World Wildlife Fund and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the workshop taught critical business skills and offered insight into creating a growth plan, communicating visions, and working with investors on a global scale, with a unique focus on sustainability.

Fish 2.0 is a global business competition that connects sustainable fishing and aquaculture businesses with potential investors, offering participating businesses access to mentors, business guidance, and network connections. True progress on conservation and sustainability has the greatest potential when the public and private sector act together. That is why the U.S. State Department is supporting Fish 2.0 -- to help link Pacific Islanders living in the region with mentors, investors, and communities in the United States and around the world, and drive business growth that creates positive environmental and social change.

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What people are saying about Fish 2.0

  • Fish 2.0 offers
    a unique mix of innovative business ideas and people who have the influence to make them succeed.
    - Dick Clime, CEI Maine
  • Roxanne Nanninga - Tru Fish
    This was a great opportunity to pitch to a very relevant group of people. I made some very valuable connections.
    - Roxanne Nanninga, Fish 2.0 2015 Finalist (USA)
  • Sherry Flummerfelt - Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust
    I made some excellent connections, learned so much, and feel like our organization has grown considerably as a result of participating in Fish 2.0.
    - Sherry Flummerfelt, Fish 2.0 2015 Finalist (USA)
  • Gary Beatty - Inland Shrimp Company
    People found us through the media around Fish 2.0 – people who want to have shrimp locally have gone out of their way to contact us."
    - Gary Beatty, Fish 2.0 2013 Semi-finalist (USA)
  • Diane Durance - Harvest Food & Fisheries
    As a semi-finalist in 2013, I experienced first-hand how important it is to get your venture in front of investors who are knowledgeable and interested in your field. Fish 2.0 is the organization making that possible for entrepreneurs in aquaculture and sustainable fisheries.
    - Diane Durance, Fish 2.0 2013 Semi-finalist (USA)
  • Mike Betts - AgFunder
    Fish 2.0 provided a huge amount of value to the investor community in really getting exposure for and curating companies, that is super valuable. It's one of the best I have been to in the food and ag sector. Everything from the quality of the attendees and companies, the content, the engagement.
    - Mike Betts, AgFunder (USA)
  • Emmanuelle Bourgois - FairAgora
    Fish 2.0 competition has been a unique learning experience. It shaped the idea from a concept to a robust business model, boosted confidence in my entrepreneurship skills and is the real starting point of this amazing and innovative adventure.
    - Emmanuelle Bourgois, Fish 2.0 2015 Competitor (Thailand)
  • Alan Lovewell - Local Catch Monterey Bay
    Fish 2.0 is a great way to expand your network. We learned about other fish businesses and opportunities for collaboration--that exposure is very hard to do on your own.
    - Alan Lovewell, Fish 2.0 2013 Finalist (USA)
  • What I liked about Fish 2.0 was
    the high-quality content and very well curated line-up of companies.
    - Investor, Fish 2.0 2015
  • Dane Chauvel - Organic Ocean Seafood
    Fish 2.0 helped us grow our business, but more importantly, it helped us optimize our business. We are doing more, and doing it better. I don’t believe we would have gotten here as quickly if we had not gone through the Fish 2.0 planning exercise.
    - Dane Chauvel, Fish 2.0 2013 Finalist (Canada)
  • Margot Kane - Calvert Foundation
    Fish 2.0 helps fill a critical missing part of the ecosystem around financing sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. We look forward to connecting this effort to our thousands of investors motivated by positive social and environmental change.
    - Margot Kane, Calvert Foundation and Fish 2.0 2015 & 2013 Judge
  • Kelly Harrell - Alaska Marine Conservation Council
    For those in the fisheries world, Fish 2.0 has quickly become the go-to place for those interested in advancing cutting-edge business models focused on the triple-bottom line of social, environmental, and economic impact.
    - Kelly Harrell, Fish 2.0 2015 Finalist (USA)
  • David Walfish - Ho'olou Pacific
    The Fish 2.0 organizers have done a fantastic job creating the world's first fishing and aquaculture business competition. Our advisors and the webinars have been top-notch, and the amount of interest and number of investors Fish 2.0 has attracted is incredible.
    - David Walfish, Fish 2.0 2013 Third Place Winner (USA)
  • Gary Ullstrom - Kuterra
    It’s not just a seminar, it’s the real thing – you’re pitching to real people with real money.
    - Gary Ullstrom, Fish 2.0 2013 Finalist (Canada)
  • Ed Robinson - Acadia Harvest
    All the people we dealt with on the Fish 2.0 team were great to work with. We’d have no hesitation to do it again.
    - Ed Robinson, Fish 2.0 2013 Semi finalist and 2015 Finalist (USA)
  • Brett Haywood - Sea Quest Group
    Helped us look within and be able to convey our positive impacts, whether its socially, environmentally or resource based, and convey this to our markets and partners.
    - Brett Haywood, Fish 2.0 2015 Finalist (Fiji)
  • Dr. Karsidete Teeranitayatarn - Green Innovative Biotech
    This made my company grow up and served as a springboard. We received interest and collaboration from around the world, including Fiji, Northern Canada, Alaska, Marshall Island, and venture capitalists from Silicon Valley.
    -Dr. Karsidete Teeranitayatarn, Fish 2.0 2015 Finalist (Thailand)
  • Kit Barron - CapLog Group
    Fish 2.0 takes the fish by the fins and creates a much needed mechanism through which the right industry experience, innovative thinkers and financial backing can come together to move new ideas in seafood to market.
    - Kit Barron, CapLog Group, LLC and Fish 2.0 2013 Advisor
  • Fish 2.0 is the place to
    learn more about what kinds of technology and business advances are occurring in the seafood industry.
    - Investor, Fish 2.0 2015
  • Hoyt Peckham - SmartFish
    It changed the way I prepare for all sorts of investor interactions, and it greatly improved our success.
    - Hoyt Peckham, Fish 2.0 2013 Semi-finalist (Mexico)
  • David Stover - Bureo
    It makes you kind of step back and look at what's actually going on, ... question what path are you on, where are we going ... in that sense, it's an extremely valuable process to kind of put things on paper and take a look at it.
    - David Stover, Fish 2.0 2015 Finalist (Chile)
  • This is the most professional event I’ve attended in this sector.
    - Investor, Fish 2.0 2015
  • Beau Seil - Unitus Impact
    We believe that creating sustainable fisheries will have long-lasting impact on ensuring and improving the livelihoods of large populations in the developing world.
    - Beau Seil, Managing Partner, Unitus Impact
  • Andriet Tilfas - Hapmak Market
    It helped me connect with a lot of new business people around the world. Not only to help with our small scale in a remote island but to expand services because there are a lot of opportunities out there.
    - Andriet Tilfas, Fish 2.0 2015 Competitor (Micronesia)
  • Alfred Kalontas - Alfa Fishing
    Fish 2.0 helped me understand my brand better. It helped me refine my business structure to represent my business brand.
    - Alfred Kalontas, Fish 2.0 2015 Finalist (Vanuatu)