CFI-CF launches global knowledge competition to combat overfishing

Fishermen tend to their boat in Peru.

The Coastal Fisheries Initiative's Challenge Fund (CFI-CF) has launched the Global Knowledge Competition (GKC) to find innovative solutions addressing overfishing in coastal fisheries in four countries: Cabo Verde, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Peru.

The competition is asking for coalitions or individual organizations to create approaches that promote sustainable use and management of fish stocks through the coordination of fisheries, communities, and seafood industry stakeholders in the four countries. Winners of the competition will receive public recognition by the World Bank and other partners and will gain access to services to refine their solutions to aid future implementation. Both winners and runners-up will be able to share their solutions with the seafood industry and investors.

CFI is funded by the Global Environment Facility to preserve marine resources, specifically to ensure coastal fisheries can continue contributing to food security and economic and social development. Its Challenge Fund focuses on making connections between fishing communities, businesses, investors, and the government to help improve the sustainability and productivity of the coastal fisheries.

CFI-CF has developed main focus points for solutions in each of the four countries.

In Cabo Verde, coastal fisheries are threatened with exploitation by foreign fleets in the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). CFI-CF focus is on improving links between domestic seafood supply chains and the tourism sector of the country's 10 islands. Cabo Verde has identified four initiatives to plan for: Development of a deep-sea shrimp fishery fleet, refurbishment of Santa Maria Pier in Sal Island and surrounding area, replacement of small-scale artisanal fishing boats with semi-industrial boat capacity, and integration of fish wholesale auction system in the Praia fishing complex.

Ecuador is focused on developing a more sustainable and financially viable food system in the Galapagos Islands. Currently, visitors and residents rely on imported food, and the CFI-CFI's initiative in the country is focused on growing local production in the islands. Business solutions are needed to help the fishing sector become more sustainable and competitive in the local, national, and international markets.

Indonesia’s solutions will be targeted at supporting the country's government in improving conditions for private-sector investments. The goals of CFI-CF are to evaluate barriers and opportunities to invest in sustainable marine and fisheries businesses in Indonesia. Addressing these barriers of private-sector participation and investment in sustainable fisheries can reduce overfishing in the region, according to the organization.

Peru seeks to strengthen the involvement of government institutions, the private sector, and local communities in its fishing industry. CFI-CF is focused on investment package development to provide technical assistance to local fishermen and fisherwomen. Small-scale fisheries are learning to develop “Investment Readiness Assessments” (IRAs), which allow a company to determine its readiness for investments and take steps needed to receive future investments. The CFI-CF is aiming the program toward small businesses in certain fishing communities in specified target regions.

“[CFI-CF] is committed to improving coastal fisheries, which are important sources of food and livelihoods for local communities,” World Bank Senior Environmental Economist and CFI-CF Team Leader Mimi Kobayashi said. “This competition is a call to action to bring together all of the actors in the seafood industry to tackle this perennial problem of overfishing. Although this issue remains challenging, we are confident that we will receive some innovative and game-changing solutions.” 

The application deadline for the competition is 27 February, 2022.  

Photo courtesy of Don Mammoser/Shutterstock


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