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BRIEF January 12, 2022

Coastal Fisheries Initiative - Challenge Fund (CFI-CF)


Photo credit: Luis Carrera

CFI – CF Global Knowledge Competition Call for Solutions to Overfishing

The CFI-CF Global Knowledge Competition sought coalitions with innovative solutions that address overfishing, focusing on coastal fisheries in four countries: Cabo Verde, Ecuador, Indonesia and Peru. Overfishing is among the biggest challenges threatening the health of our oceans, the livelihoods of millions living in coastal communities, and the business opportunities of seafood and related industries around the world. This competition aimed to mobilize the collective power of fisheries and seafood stakeholders to implement solutions to overfishing in coastal fisheries. The competition encouraged outstanding coalitions created among fishing communities, businesses, investors and governments to offer innovative approaches that promote the sustainable use and management of fish stock through improved coordination among fishers and increased collaboration across stakeholders. Read Press Release announcing the winners and runner ups. 

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  • Engaging business and financing communities for productive and sustainable fisheries 

    The Coastal Fisheries Initiative (CFI) is a collaborative, global effort funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to preserve marine resources and ensure that coastal fisheries can continue to play their crucial role in society, contributing to food security, as well as economic and social development.

    The Challenge Fund, a child project of the CFI Program led by the World Bank, aims to engage businesses and the financing community in support of more productive and sustainable coastal fisheries.

    The Challenge Fund helps to make the connection between fishing communities, businesses, and investors, as well as government. When the interests of these parties are aligned, they have the power together to improve coastal fish resources, enhance the wellbeing of communities, and boost local and national economies.

    In bringing those stakeholders together, the Challenge Fund aims to build coalitions that rally behind the common goal of improving the sustainability and productivity of coastal fisheries.

    The Challenge Fund focuses on concrete business ideas and supports coalitions in finding innovative, long-term solutions to reach their common goals in designing responsible investment packages and identifying obstacles to their implementation.

    Four countries have joined the Challenge Fund: Cabo Verde, Ecuador, Indonesia and Peru. In each country, activities are linked to an ongoing World Bank project. In addition to country-level work, CFI-CF is implementing a Global Knowledge Competition to seek coalitions among fishing communities, business and finance communities, and governments with innovative solutions that address overfishing and inefficiencies in coastal fisheries. The CFI-CF Global Knowledge Competition will source collaborative solutions worldwide, with a targeted focus on Cabo Verde, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Peru.




    Peru Coastal Fisheries Initiative Challenge Fund: Supporting A Sustainable Blue Economy

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    Fishers with their catch in Santa Maria, Sal, Cabo Verde. Photo credit: Dariusz Jarzabe/

    Fisheries are a critical yet relatively undeveloped sector in Cabo Verde, an archipelago of ten islands just 500 kilometers off the western coast of Africa.  Coastal fisheries are at the center of community nutrition and local economies, but the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is overwhelmingly exploited by foreign fleets. According to the FAO, the sector contributes almost 2 percent of GDP and 10 percent of animal protein intake for Cape Verdeans.

    Small-scale fishing activities are a vital source of income for vulnerable households and provide a significant contribution to the life and livelihoods. Improving the linkages between the domestic seafood supply chains and the tourism sector, thriving and robustly growing before the pandemic, is a priority for sector stakeholders and offers a catalytic avenue for inclusive growth.

     If hotels and restaurants were willing to commit to sourcing a larger proportion of fish locally, Cabo Verde fishers could create more robust business models, increase their income and develop access to markets, improving the livelihoods of fishing communities overall. The Coastal Fisheries Initiative - Challenge Fund (CFI-CF) in Cabo Verde is working to support these linkages and help increase productivity for artisanal fishing. The lack of infrastructure in certain islands, unreliability and cost of inter-island transport, and lack of adequate fish handling and certification practices (critical requirements for buyers in the hospitality and restaurant business) have hampered progress in the past.

     The CFI-CF in Cabo Verde is tackling these challenges by identifying sustainable investment opportunities that can create win-win propositions for fishing communities, businesses, private investors, and authorities. Toward this end, building on the Government’s recent Blue Economy vision and National Investment Plan, the CFI-CF in Cabo Verde has identified four initiatives with the potential to unlock inclusive growth on the tourism-fisheries nexus:

    • A program for the development of a deep-sea shrimp fishery fleet in Cabo Verde will help unlock this unexplored resource with high commercial value. Shrimp also offers sustainable catch as an alternative to already overfished species. This initiative also supports the necessary certification and licensing framework for local consumption or export.
    • The refurbishment of the Santa Maria Pier in Sal Island and its surrounding area supports the integration of coastal fisheries and tourism value chains. This iconic pier had in recent years fallen into disrepair. However, it is a key attraction and transit point for fishing activities and tourists.  The refurbishment project is balancing the offload and market activity with the introduction of restaurants and other tourism-support activities in a safe, sanitary environment.
    • Small-scale artisanal fishing boats are being replaced with semi-industrial boat capacity. This program is developing market opportunities for local shipowners, particularly in the supply chain of local large resorts and the existing fish processing industry. This work promotes a sustainable and balanced transition that addresses the deeply overcrowded artisanal fishing space.
    • An integrated fish wholesale auction system is being implemented in the Praia fishing complex. A transparent and predictable price auction system (“lota”), coupled with certification processes is the long-term objective to further develop the fishery value chain in Cabo Verde. The recent inauguration and concession of the Praia Port fishing complex to a private operator creates a window of opportunity to pursue reform critical to develop links with local hospitality buyers.

    The CFI-CF Cabo Verde team works closely with the team of FAO’s CFI West Africa Regional Child Project, which has been enhancing governance capacity in the coastal fisheries sector in addition to providing technical assistance to the strategic guidance of the blue economy sector.

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    Cleaning fish in Santa Cruz, Galapagos. Copyright: Juan Manuel Garcia/CDF.

    Galapagos: A living laboratory is also a hotspot for overfishing

    The Coastal Fisheries Initiative - Challenge Fund (CFI-CF) in Ecuador is tackling the challenges of coastal fisheries in the Galapagos. The archipelago, about 600 miles from the mainland, is emblematic of pristine biodiversity. Known for its variety of species, including fish, this “living laboratory” is also a hotspot for overfishing. A package of investment projects are being developed based on initial analysis of fisheries and market, similar to those undertaken in Peru.

    The Galapagos economy stands apart from the rest of the country as it is so heavily dependent on international nature-based tourism.  Both visitors and residents depend on imported food, including seafood.  Yet there is a keen commitment to create a more sustainable and financially viable food system that is based on local production (existing and potential).  In the case of fisheries and seafood, this requires extensive analysis of both supply and demand.  Business cases are being built for investments to help the fishing sector become more sustainable and competitive in the local market, including supplying the tourism sector. Additionally, there may also be potential for certain products from the Galapagos fishing sector to compete effectively in national and international markets. 

    Analysis of the Galapagos seafood system including, stocks status, social and organizational dimensions, value chains, and financial structures are helping to develop models of an alternative seafood system to link supply and demand in a sustainable and equitable manner. Public investments for public goods will facilitate logistics and protect food safety. Impact investing for private enterprises will include fishing operations and value chain actors.  

    This CFI-CF in Ecuador is being tailored to the Galapagos context in order to complement to the ongoing dialogue on sustainable food systems and as part of a post COVID-19 strategy to reactivate the economy and build resilience between the economic sectors by creating greater food autonomy and reducing reliance on imported food, with buy-in from the local community and the tourism sector. 

    The CFI-CF Ecuador team works closely with the team of UNDP’s CFI Latin America Regional Child Project.

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    Photo credit: Yusnizam Yusof/Shutterstock.

    The Coastal Fisheries Initiative - Challenge Fund (CFI-CF) in Indonesia is implemented as part of the Indonesia Sustainable Oceans Program (ISOP) under the guidance the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP), the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment (Kemenkomarves), and the Ministry for National Development Planning (Bappenas).

    The CFI-CF in Indonesia is providing knowledge and understanding from across Indonesia concerning the main barriers to private sector participation and investment in sustainable fisheries, and ways to address those barriers. The initiative also supports the development of business cases of responsible investments that could be undertaken in select firms with strong sustainability and social development goals. Potential investors are being identified for business cases, informing stakeholder understanding of fisheries investment needs and opportunities.

    The CFI-CF in Indonesia has recently selected five firms (or groups of firms) based on a careful review of investment needs and alignment with the overall CFI-CF goals, for development of business cases. Other firms will receive additional support. The businesses vary from seaweed and sea cucumber hatchery, tuna processing, to ecotourism and all of these in Eastern Indonesia. The focus on these fisheries is aligned with government priority species and management areas and determined through consultation and ongoing dialogue with stakeholders.

    The CFI-CF in Indonesia aims to also support government in improving conditions for investment, through research on the Investment Landscape. This will look at the barriers and opportunities of investing in sustainable marine and fisheries businesses in Indonesia. A status report for snapper and grouper fisheries was also produced in support of this research as well as the government of Indonesia’s focus on one of the country’s most important commodities.

    Tech start-ups in the marine and fisheries domain are booming in Indonesia. They have helped disrupt the business models and most importantly improve the life and quality of coastal fisheries. We are engaging with the startup ecosystem Digifish—a platform of 30+ startups—to work together on the issue of sustainability.

    The CFI-CF Indonesia team works closely with the team of WWF’s Indonesia Child Project.


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    Photo credit: Jorge Guillermo Barbosa.

    The Coastal Fisheries Initiative - Challenge Fund (CFI-CF) in Peru seeks the sustainable management of fisheries resources through the strengthening of government institutions, the private sector and the local communities. In this way, it is expected to generate a sustained flow of responsible investments in the development of different coastal fisheries within the country.  The team supports sustainable business ideas from a financial, environmental and social point of view to improve income prospects and reduce costs, through providing technical assistance that includes support, training to identify opportunities for business and to access different sources of financing.

    Under the CFI-CF in Peru, investment package development has been conducted in the context of technical assistance provided to local fishermen and women to develop comprehensive “Investment Readiness Assessments” (IRAs).  Following the various studies and performance assessments of 10 coastal fisheries, enterprise assessments were made for ten businesses selected from the artisanal and coastal fishing communities.  Investors have been engaged in the process of IRA development, and they have been presented with the IRAs for consideration for financing.  In Peru, the focus is on small businesses that operate in fishing communities in target regions.

    Martín Bayona is an artisanal fisherman from Caleta el Ñuro (Piura) with 20 years of experience.
    He and his colleagues are already part of two PNIPA projects, but they want to go one step further: the formalization of their activity. Martin is sure that with the help of PESCA EMPRENDE they will be able to achieve this last step, which will allow them to obtain better sales conditions and enter new markets.

    Almenzor Gómez has 35 years of experience in artisanal fishing in Chimbote (Áncash).
    Almenzor believes that the Peruvian artisanal fisherman often loses the business vision of the activity. It is also convinced that new technologies are necessary for its success. With the help of PESCA EMPRENDE, he hopes to finance the modernization of his boat, and thus make sustainable use of traditional fishing grounds.

    The CFI-CF Peru team works closely with the team of UNDP’s CFI Latin America Regional Child Project.

    Related Links:

    FAO: CFI in Latin America

    Peru CFI-CF - Pesca Emprende


VIDEO Mar 02,2020

Coastal Fisheries Initiative-Challenge Fund - CFI CF Pesca emprende towards sustainable fishing



PRESS RELEASE: Competition Announces Innovative Solutions to Reduce Coastal Overfishing

The four winners and four runners-up outlined original approaches for how their coalitions will reduce overfishing, improve sustainable fishing practices, and increase incomes of fishers and others in value chain.
Women fishers unload their catch for the day. Luis Carrera/WWF Peru

CFI-CF Global Knowledge Competition

The competition, with a focus on Cabo Verde, Ecuador, Indonesia and Peru, aimed to mobilize the collective power of fisheries and seafood stakeholders to implement solutions to overfishing in coastal fisheries.
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Competition to Find Solutions to Reduce Overfishing in Coastal Fisheries - Press Release

The World Bank Coastal Fisheries Initiative – Challenge Fund (CFI-CF) is launching a competition to seek collaborative solutions to reduce overfishing by supporting coordination among fishers and collaboration across seafood value chains.