Washington D.C., June 9, 2014 — The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the first round of grants available from its Fishery Improvement Partnership Fund. The Fund, a public-private partnership, addresses overfishing, one of the biggest threats to the United States seafood supply. Developed as an official CGI Commitment to Action from the Walton Family Foundation and Darden Restaurants with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Fund leverages philanthropic, industry and government resources to help develop and advance Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) worldwide.
“With these investments, we are supporting solutions that are good for fish and fishing communities and that have a direct impact on fisheries that supply the American market,” said Dr. Tony Chatwin, Director, Marine and Coastal Conservation, NFWF. “Through the Fishery Improvement Partnerships Fund, we hope to inspire other seafood businesses to join us in this effort.”
The three grants for 2014 total $279,500, and will be matched by $117,790 from the grantees. NFWF’s Fishery Improvement Partnership Fund is supported by the Walton Family Foundation, Darden Restaurants, and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Ocean Fund. The FIP Fund will expand its focus to additional fisheries as partnerships and resources become available.
“This next step in our collaboration represents an important milestone in ensuring these fisheries and the people who depend on them continue to thrive in the future,” said Teresa Ish, program officer for the Walton Family Foundation’s Environment Focus Area. “The Darden and Royal Caribbean investments in smart management of the spiny lobster fishery in Honduras will go a long way to improve the long-term health of fisheries, fishing communities and a sustainable seafood industry.”
It is estimated that more than 400 fisheries need improvements to meet buyer demand for sustainable seafood worldwide. NFWF’s Fishery Improvement Partnership Fund’s first project will support the spiny lobster fishery in Honduras. This fishery is worth nearly $50 million in annual exports to the United States and provides direct employment to more than 4,000 people from coastal communities. Despite its economic importance, however, national management strategies and fisheries governance need to be improved before it can be considered sustainable.
The 2014 Fishery Improvement Partnership Fund grants are:
1.) Capacity building for effective lobster fishery management
The Utila Centre for Marine Ecology will strengthen the capacity of key local organizations in Honduras to be able to manage their lobster fisheries and establish the foundations for market led solutions for sustainable resource use.
2.) Science based decision making for spiny lobster management
The Smithsonian Institution will work with the Caribbean Fishers Association (APESCA), fishing communities association (FENPESCA) and Honduras government institutions to use available technology and innovative research to enable an integrated approach for the effective spatial management of the lobster fishery and coral reef conservation.
3.) Promoting sustainable fisheries through certification in the Caribbean
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) will provide outreach and training to fishery stakeholders in the Caribbean, including fisheries such as the Honduras spiny lobster fishery and the Mexican spiny lobster fishery.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,000 organizations and committed more than $2.1 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
About the Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation promotes environmental solutions that make economic sense for communities and their natural resources. The foundation works to achieve change that lasts by creating new and unexpected partnerships and bringing conservation, business and community interests to the same table to build long-term solutions to big problems. The foundation divides its environmental giving into two initiatives:
- Freshwater Conservation, which works to sustain healthy and resilient communities of both people and wildlife in the Colorado River basin and along the Mississippi River from its headwaters to the delta; and
- Marine Conservation, which supports initiatives that create economic incentives for sustainable resource management in some of the world’s most ecologically rich ocean areas, from Indonesia to Ecuador to the Gulf of Mexico.
About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI) owns and operates more than 2,100 restaurants that generate over $8.5 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 200,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2014, Darden was named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the fourth year in a row. Our restaurant brands – Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Yard House – reflect the rich diversity of those who dine with us. Our brands are built on deep insights into what our guests want. For more information, please visit www.darden.com.
About Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE, OSE: RCL) is a global cruise vacation company that owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises and CDF CroisiCrui de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture.ion company that osix brands operate a combined total of 41 ships with an additional six under construction contracts. They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on approximately 490 destinations on all seven continents. Additional information can be found on www.royalcaribbean.com, www.celebritycruises.com, www.pullmantur.es, www.azamaraclubcruises.com, www.cdfcroisieresdefrance.com or www.rclinvestor.com. RCL created The Ocean Fund in 1996, to support marine conservation organizations in safeguarding the health of the world’s oceans and coastal communities, and has given over $13 million to over 75 organizations around the world.