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How to Make Fishing Sustainable

Anglers and environmentalists together need to figure out how to make fishing sustainable for the future.

An opinion piece by David Brodwin in the US News and World Report zoomed in on the need for an overhaul of the fishing business model to make it, and connected industries, more sustainable.

The arguments in the article are valid: fishing should be easily adapted to become one of the most sustainable commercial and recreational industries there are. Incentives for avoiding overfishing are obvious and widespread.

Voluntary efforts for the better good battle against the need for government regulations. And of course, financing and supporting the large scale needs of getting everyone involved on board are at the heart of it all. It's a business, and the bottom line is always the bottom line.

Luckily for the overall fishing sectors, one firm is trying to come up with a solution, as pointed out by Brodwin. EKO Asset Management Partners recently revealed a new financing approach called the Fisheries Impact Vehicle, or FIV. It's a three-pronged attempt at solving the problem:

  • Investors contribute bridge financing for fishers.
  • Retailers sign long-term purchase agreements to guarantee some of the catch, and pay a commission to create cash flow streams and satisfy the investors.
  • Anglers commit to better, safer equipment and binding catch regulations.

Of course, a full commitment to such changes will be difficult, and all the while our fisheries hang in the balance of environmental conditions and the impact humans have on them.

The parallels between the overall fishing sustainability problem and those that affect any business are obvious. The solutions may be just as similar: short-term pain and long-term gain.

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How to Make Fishing Sustainable