According to the FAO*, almost a quarter of the world's fish stocks are overexploited, depleted or vulnerable. This situation is all the more worrying as fishing and aquaculture play a central role in the world's food and nutrition security. Fish provides 4.3 billion individuals with 15% of their animal protein intake. And fishing directly or indirectly supports the livelihoods of one person in ten. For some coastal fishing communities, the situation is particularly fraught. At their traditional fishing sites, where fish used to be plentiful, the nets are coming up empty …
* United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization
Scope of the projects funded
In this focus sector, the Foundation funds sustainable fishing projects that closely link protection of fish stocks and conservation of ecosystems with protection of marine species and the well-being of local populations. The actions undertaken help the beneficiary families and future generations to ensure their own food security and to find new local income-generating activities.
The projects funded by the Foundation take the following factors into account:
1. selective fishing (target species identification, size limitations, restricted fishing periods, etc.)
2. combating illegal fishing and management of related conflicts
3. setting up marine protected areas (delineation of fishing areas, regulations on net size, minimum fish size requirements, use of non-polluting fishing vessels, etc.) and involving local communities in the management of such protected areas
4. data collection to ensure optimal management of ecosystems, biodiversity and resources. The collection methods used are simple and practical, innovative (mobile applications, for example), enable the users to be involved, and provide access to results that can be used by all stakeholders
5. scaling-up through the close involvement of local and/or national authorities, and support and advocacy initiatives to promote policies favorable to the replication of these sustainable approaches
6. greenhouse gas mitigation and/or adaptation to climate change
7. other cross-cutting themes highlighted by the Foundation in its Selection Criteria, such as promoting entrepreneurship, a rights-based approach, innovation, scaling-up, a gender perspective, and sexual and reproductive health needs, particularly of women and girls.