To be used over the next three
years, the grant will finance work undertaken by the various selected agencies
and NGOs in providing new working models for innovation and reform to support
the development of sustainable fisheries and assist in the conservation of
marine biodiversity worldwide.
The Bay of Bengal Programme
Inter-Governmental Organisation will receive US$2.2 million of the total World
Bank grant while the Conservation International Foundation will receive $2.16
A further $1.95 million will be
given to the FAO for the benefit of member countries of the Western Central
Atlantic Fishery Commission, while $1.5 million of the grant has been allocated
to the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency.
Also included in the list of
organisations to benefit from the World Bank grant is the World Wildlife Fund
(WWF) which has been allocated $1.36 million.
The World Bank grant is the
latest in a series of fisheries related funding initiatives the
Washington-headquartered development bank has approved over the past decade to
support sustainable fisheries development initiatives that benefit its
developing member countries around the globe.
The decision to approve the new
fisheries grant reflects the importance of fisheries to global food supply and
the urgent need to protect fishery resources against over-exploitation.
Fisheries and aquaculture provide
16% of global animal protein, according to the FAO. In addition, seafood has an
annual first-sale value of more than US$90 billion and is among the most
globally traded of all food commodities.
FAO figures show that seafood
exports from developing countries are particularly important, and at over $25
billion a year are substantially higher than other agricultural commodities
that include rubber, cocoa, bananas and coffee.
Fishing communities are among the
poorest sectors of society in many developing countries.
Consequently work to protect
fishery resources, particularly coastal fisheries and shared highly migratory
fish stocks such as tuna, also supports economic progress in coastal regions
and contributes to the World Bank’s overall target of encouraging economic and
social development progress among the world’s emerging nations.
Due to their cross-boundary
nature, the management of fisheries consisting of highly migratory fish stocks
presents a particularly complex management challenge in the Pacific, Indian and
The economic rationale for the
World Bank’s targeted involvement in improving the management of shared highly
migratory fish stocks relates to the current and future stake held in these
fisheries by the bank’s developing member countries.
According to the World Bank, many
of these countries have stated their interest to the bank and various relevant
fishery organisations of being involved in the development of a management
arrangement to ensure economic benefits can accrue in a sustainable and
equitable manner to their individual economies.
Under the grant-funded programme,
fishery consultants will be hired to provide technical assistance and
analytical support to identify and design a series of investment proposals for
transformational pilot projects to establish well managed fisheries based on
shared highly migratory stocks that straddle the EEZ of several World Bank
The projects will be designed to
encourage strong downstream investments in fish processing and storage while
separately encouraging the undertaking of best practice reform processes, in
particular public and private sector partnerships.
The pilot schemes are intended to
enable fishing communities to maximise potential income from their existing
fisheries by upgrading their supply chain operations and by targeting premium
regional and global markets with high quality seafood products.
The Bay of Bengal Programme
Inter-Governmental Organisation (BOBP-IGO) will use $1.98 million of its
allocated grant to focus on small scale tuna longline fisheries and possibly
other highly migratory pelagic stocks found off South
India, particularly Tamil Nadu state.
The existing fishery offers
potential to use public/private partnership to develop high value niche markets
in Asia and Europe. The small scale
Thoorthoor fleet in Tamil Nadu has been identified as a potential client for
BOBP-IGO to work with in developing a co-management pilot scheme as a business
case for future investment.
In the Western and Central
Pacific, the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency is expected to use $1.35
million of its allocated grant to target tuna fishing operations, mainly by
distant water fishing nations under the Parties to Nauru Agreement’s Vessel Day
The grant will be used to fund
efforts by Pacific states to increase economic returns from tuna fishing
licenses by designing and implementing targeted fishing rights-based management
reforms, and adopting other initiatives for fishing communities to share tuna
fishing license revenues.
In the West/Central Atlantic and Caribbean,
the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission in conjunction with the FAO,
will use $1.75 million of its World Bank grant allocation to target billfish
which are important to the region’s recreational and commercial small-scale
A consortium of private
recreational and commercial fishing interests based in various countries in the
region are expected to be involved in one or more pilot schemes which will
require establishing institutional mechanisms to create and enforce rights for
commercial and artisanal fishermen to adopt catch, release and tagging systems
in return for payment for their services from the recreational fishing sector.
Elsewhere, in the Eastern
Pacific, the World Wildlife Fund will use $680,000 of its grant allocation to
target skipjack tuna fisheries. These are operated by large scale purse seine
vessels fishing in the region, many of which are flagged to Ecuador,
Mexico and EU member
Options to be explored include
the use of tradable bigeye tuna catch quotas in exchange for an exemption to
the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) annual fishing closure; and
the introduction of trading for existing IATTC-authorised tuna harvest
Other options include the
development of potential mechanisms to convert fishing vessel hold capacity
into a tradable tonnage quota; and introducing other collective or rights-based
approaches for skipjack tuna fisheries in the region.
International Foundation will use its $2.16 million grant in partnership with
the four already-mentioned agencies to support a range of innovative activities
focused on improved management of shared highly migratory fisheries.
Planned activities include field
tests of new fishing gear and technologies, including those used for fisheries
monitoring, control, and surveillance.
Other activities will include
analysis and evaluations to inform fisheries management decisions, and the
coordination of various events including regional and global workshops to share
experiences and lessons learned.
The World Bank grant also
includes $1.3 million to establish a Global Think Tank to provide
inter-regional coordination, outreach and collaboration between the four
regional sub-project activities.
The Think Tank also will be
responsible for the effective benchmarking of the overall project’s performance
and progress achieved against agreed targets.