A Fish 2.0 workshop in Fiji last month to explore ways to develop the South Pacific’s fishing industry was interrupted by a staggering object lesson: the devastation of Vanuatu by Super Cyclone Pam.
Driving business growth while creating positive environmental and social change might seem a bold endeavour, but the team at Fish 2.0 not only believe it can be done, they’ve created the forum to make it happen.
Fish is one of the healthiest foods, high in protein, vitamin D, and if it’s a cold deep water fish, like Pacific Salmon, the same compounds that keep fish blood circulating, Omega 3 fatty acids, can keep our own blood flowing too, lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. Unfortunately, increasing world demand has led to 40 percent of the world’s fisheries being overfished resulting in more than $50 billion of global economic losses per year. Worse, the trend poses a profound threat to human food sources.
To blood diamonds, sweatshop apparel and other products to avoid, now add slave shrimp.
The global fishing industry, and the Thai fishing fleet in particular, is increasingly being called to account for abuses that represent not just virtual slavery, but the real thing.
The new attention to human rights is expanding the definition of "sustainable seafood" to include not only fish and the oceans they swim in, but the working conditions of the people who catch them. Indeed, exploitation of people is almost always accompanied by exploitation of nature.
Now, the same tools that help buyers choose fillets from environment-friendly sources are starting to be used to trace seafood to socially responsible suppliers as well. At the big Boston Seafood Expo this week, the Obama administration announced a traceability program to track seafood from its harvest through its import into the U.S., part of a broader plan to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. California's Transparency in Supply Chains Act requires businesses to disclose their efforts, if any, to eradicate human trafficking and slavery from their supply chains.
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The Fiji Times Online: Fish 2.0 to foster Growth
The Fiji Sun Online: Sustaining Marine Life
The Fiji Sun Online: Fish 2.0 inspires Valevou
The Fiji Times Online: Fisheries Business Competition Attracts Interest
National Geographic: Entrepreneurs around Micronesia Restore Both Fisheries and Local Economies
Three years ago, when I first started asking investors why they didn’t put more money into seafood ventures, many told me that there just weren’t enough strong businesses out there to warrant the time and energy of adding seafood to their portfolios. At the same time, seafood businesses complained that there were not enough interested investors out there. They said that without investment, new ventures were not worth building and existing ventures could not continue to grow.
CARMEL, CA – More than 15 corporate industry leaders, investors, and philanthropists, including Pentair, CEI, Google Oceans, and RSF Social Finance, joined together to launch the new Fish 2.0 business competition this week. Fish 2.0 connects investors with business leaders in fisheries, aquaculture, and seafood supply chains. It offers seafood businesses an opportunity to gain visibility, find strategic partners, and ultimately garner new investments in the range of $100,000 to over $10 million. The breadth of sponsors involved in this year’s competition reflects a growing interest in the seafood sector among investors with expertise in technology, supply chain operations, and food sectors systems. Both established companies and early stage enterprises can apply through the Fish 2.0 website (http://www.fish20.org).
This second investment briefing paper focuses on the aquaculture market and opportunities for innovation in the various industry segments. Click here to download it.