The research shared in this guest essay was prepared with the support of the Walton Family Foundation as part of a report series on private finance in marine conservation. Over five chapters, the pfc team—Dr. Michael Blowfield, Rares Pamfil, and Hari Balasubramanian and Gayle Peterson—analyzed 155 funds (100 non-fisheries funds and 55 fisheries funds) to understand trends, challenges, and opportunities for leveraging private capital to help sustain the ocean and global fisheries. The report— “Finance with Purpose: How Impact Investing Can Conserve the Ocean and Fisheries”—will be released in late 2021 and will be posted on the pfc website.


The purpose of this essay is to better understand the current state and future of sustainable investing in the ocean and fisheries. It explores ways to help the ocean and global fisheries sector obtain increased investment to achieve sustainable ocean management. Our findings show that new investment will require a change in thinking and new cross-sectoral partnerships across private, public, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors.

First, let’s follow the money to understand the market for sustainable investing, areas receiving the largest investment from sustainability funds, and the implications for the ocean and sustainable fisheries globally.

Second, let’s understand the evolving state of the field of sustainable ocean and fisheries investments and lessons learned. We will add context on ways the Blue Economy has contributed to investment opportunities.

Finally, we will discuss opportunities for expanding sustainable investing in the ocean and fisheries, especially in a time of “Lost in Translation.”

A Look Back, A Vision Forward

If much needed fisheries investments are to be unlocked, the wider economy and mainstream finance or private capital must be engaged. For the scope of this research, private capital includes impact investing and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investments. The report examines investments in the ocean and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.

Read the full article about investing in sustainable global fisheries at Our Shared Seas.