With the many and varied problems facing the Earth at ground level, the significant issues affecting its bodies of water can sometimes go unnoticed, including by philanthropists.
A great exception to this rule is the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, which allocated millions towards sustainable fisheries and marine health in its April round of grants.
The diverse funder, which also contributes to initiatives on child welfare and reproductive health, has extended its ocean-based efforts across a wide-ranging area encompassing Asia, Europe, the U.S. and far-flung Pacific islands.
One of the largest recent commitments was $1.3 million to the Virginia-based Nature Conservancy for a fisheries reform program in highly sea-dependent Indonesia, which faces significant obstacles to developing sustainable fisheries as its population and economic growth increase in tandem.
Packard also provided the same organization a $550,000 grant to help reform fisheries management and rebuild depleted fish stocks in the isolated island of Palau, and to extend this program’s lessons to nearby Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia.
The Nature Conservancy’s efforts reflect its own geographically diverse approach that includes China, Peru, Chile and the US, which account for more than 40 per cent of the world’s wild fish catch, along with Indonesia.
Acknowledging the fact that increasing the awareness of sustainable development is half the battle, Packard also provided $1 million to the Tides Center for its Communications Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS) in April.
COMPASS is a North America-based program aimed at “bridging the worlds of science, journalism and policy” to help marine scientists bring their important research to the wider world.
Packard’s comprehensive April commitment to the seas was rounded out by a number of smaller grants, including:
- $500,000 to the Stitching Aquaculture Stewardship Council Foundation to operationalize aquaculture standards
- $450,000 to Resources Legacy Fund for the Sustainable Fisheries Fund
- $375,000 to Sustainable Fishery Advocates for general support
- $225,000 to Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation for creating sustainable seafood initiatives in Japan
- $220,000 to World Wildlife Fund to help integrate protected areas and rights-based fisheries management, again in Indonesia