Just Released: Sustainable Fisheries Fund for the Western Central Atlantic Report

In 2016, the Western Central Atlantic Fisheries Commission (WECAFC) agreed to start the process toward transitioning into a regional fisheries management organization (RFMO). Some members showed interest in mobilizing additional resources to support the work of the future RFMO, and particularly facilitate recommendations for fisheries management from the private sector.

While in this transition process, FAO, in collaboration with the World BankConservation International and Wilderness Markets, developed a concept for a Sustainable Fisheries Fund for WECAFC.

Western Central Atlantic: Wilderness MarketsFAO and partners have released the stepwise approach for the development of a Sustainable Fisheries Fund – a potential funding concept to support the transition to sustainable fisheries in the region. The approach aims to support small and medium sized enterprises active in the fisheries sector. This type of fund will provide access to credit at relatively low interest rates, reduced guarantees and more flexible loan conditions, compared to those commonly applied commercial banks.

The concept of this fund is an innovation in fisheries impact investments: It is the first to directly promote private sector implementation of RFMO recommendations. In the future, this stepwise approach toward establishment of a dedicated sustainable fisheries fund will be of use to other regions and fisheries management bodies.

Learn more about the background and purpose of the WECAFC Sustainable Fisheries Fund.

The Sustainable Fisheries Fund was developed with support of the Common Oceans ABNJ Project on Ocean Partnership Project for Sustainable Fisheries and Biodiversity Conservation Models for Innovation and Reform (OPP) that is funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented by the World Bank.

Just Released: Commodity Sector Activation White Paper

Commodity Sector Activation White PaperChanging Tastes and Wilderness Markets have just released the white paper “Commodity Sector Activation Strategies and Recommendations for the West Coast Groundfishery.” Our report offers case studies and guidance on how to gain recognition for more sustainable products sold into commodity markets. It is intended to assist to the harvesters working the West Coast Groundfishery, the actors working to support their success, and the larger sustainable seafood movement that faces similar challenges in markets around the world.

Download the report

Commodity Sector Activation White Paper E-Publication – Final

Building Sustainable Fisheries Investment Opportunities in the Caribbean

We’re working on behalf of Conservation International to support the business case development efforts in the Caribbean led by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Wilderness Markets and others are assessing the potential opportunities for investing to improve the environmental, social, and economic sustainability of fisheries in the region.  Potential sustainable fisheries investment opportunities have been identified in Grenada and the Dominican Republic.

You can learn more about the opportunities by visiting our pages for Grenada and the Dominican Republic.

Implementing a Lead Firm approach – Lessons Learned – Indonesia Blue Swimming Crab

Wilderness Markets has recently completed a “lessons learned” document regarding our experiences working with a lead firm in Indonesia to develop and implement sustainable fisheries practices for the Blue Swimming Crab fishery in Lampung Province.

Lead firm and harvester

Lead firm and harvester meeting

The presentation provides an overview of our theory of change, our focus and goals and the key lessons learned during the course of this work. Building on the “parallel” approach to fisheries reform, it specifically integrates harvesters, communities, local leadership and industry representatives in developing and implementing sustainable fisheries practices.

The English version of this report is available for download, as is the Bahasa Indonesia version.


We are grateful to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for their support of this work.

West Coast Groundfish Regional Market Demand and Opportunities

Our latest project, West Coast Groundfish Regional Market Demand and Opportunities, explores the market demand for U.S. West Coast groundfish in Oregon, Washington, and California. We examine how much whitefish West Coast commercial buyers purchase; what potential there is to sell sustainable, U.S. West Coast groundfish in these regional markets; and how fishermen can increase the price per pound that they receive for their fish.

Learn more about our findings: Executive Summary, Wilderness Markets & Changing Tastes, West Coast Groundfish Regional Market Demand and Opportunities

Quick Overviews of Our Approach & Work

We recently completed a series of quick one-page documents explaining our overall approach to fisheries value chain investment development, our recent work, and a general overview of our team. Did we capture our philosophy and adequately explain our work? Let us know what you think.


Recent Work

Our Approach

Indonesian Blue Swimming Crab Value Chain Summary

Wilderness Markets is pleased to share our recently completed summary report on the Indonesian Blue Swimming Crab.Cover Wilderness Markets Indonesian Blue Swimming Crab_final single pages Jan 23 2016_Page_1

Our report takes a detailed look at the following components:

  • Can the Indonesian Blue Swimming Crab Industry become sustainable?
  • Blue Swimming Crab Fishery Profile
  • Challenges
  • Opportunities and Recommendations

We are grateful to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and to the fishermen and value chain participants in Indonesia for their support of this work.

To learn more and download this report. 

West Coast Groundfish in California Value Chain Assessment

Wilderness Markets is pleased to announce the release of our summary findings of a value chain analysis of the West Coast Groundfish fishery in California.Wilderness Markets West Coast Groundfish in California VC Assessment Final Dec 2015_Page_01

Building off our analysis in New England, Mexico and Indonesia, we sought to understand the value chain dynamics impacting ground fish harvesters in California.

Unlike many of the fisheries we’ve reviewed, the West Coast groundfish fishery in California is a management success. Of the 90 plus species managed by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan, the management council currently considers only five overfished, and classifies each of these species as “rebuilding.” In 2014, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified 13 trawl-caught species and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program rated 21 trawl caught species “Green, Best Choice” or “Yellow, Good Alternative.” This is a significant change from 2000 when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared the fishery a national disaster.

Despite this significant ecological progress, fishing and conservation communities continue to share concern about the long-term economic sustainability of the fishery, particularly as the fishermen continue to bear management costs that have increased over the past 5 years. Our assessment identified a number of operational inefficiencies in the value chain that are hurdles to increasing the market value of seafood from this fishery; as long as the product is undervalued, the fisherman will struggle economically.

To learn more and to download the report, read on!

Indonesia Sustainable Fisheries Value Chain Assessments

We are pleased to announce the release of our Indonesia Sustainable Fisheries Value Chain Assessment Synthesis report.Indonesia fisheries

Based on field based assessments of the Blue Swimming Crab, Snapper and Tuna value chains, we’ve synthesized our findings into this report in order to provide interested parties and practitioners with an understanding of the challenges and opportunities for impact finance in these fisheries.

Our field work across these three fisheries (and more than 5 value chains) was inspiring, enlightening and challenging. We are greatly indebted to the Indonesian people for their hospitality, interest and insight.

We would like to thank the David and Lucile Packard Foundation as well as the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for their support of this work.

Learn more and download the report.