$8 Million from the Wyss Foundation Will Help Restore Fisheries and Ocean Health in Mexico and around the World

Washington, D.C. — As part of its ongoing commitment to help restore the world’s oceans, the Wyss Foundation today announced that it is giving $8 million over the next five years to support science-based policies that ensure robust and resilient global marine ecosystems and to help rebuild fisheries in Mexico.

Fisheries and Ocean Health in Mexico

Mexico is among the 30 countries that control more than 90 percent of the world’s wild fish catch and is currently the 17th largest producer of seafood in the world. However, its $1.4 billion/year fishery is threatened by unsustainable fishing practices. These unsustainable practices are compounded by a lack of effective fisheries policies that have contributed to widespread declines in the Pacific Bluefin tuna, sardines, and other species in Mexican waters.

To restore fisheries and ocean health, the Wyss Foundation has awarded grants to Oceana, the largest international ocean conservation and advocacy organization, and Oceans 5, an international marine funders’ collaborative, representing the foundation’s second major investment in ocean conservation. In the foundation’s first major investment in oceans, in 2014, the Wyss Foundation and Oceana launched a $10 million effort to restore fisheries and ocean health in Peru and Canada.

“After decades of worsening pollution and overfishing, we now know that science-based improvements to fishery policy can restore the health and productivity of our planet’s oceans,” said philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss, who founded the Wyss Foundation in 1998. “In Mexico – as in Peru and Canada – we are proud to support locally-focused efforts to rebuild collapsed fisheries, sustain the harvest of wild seafood, and bring life back to the oceans.”

Through the Wyss Foundation grant, Oceana will support scientists and policy experts in Mexico who are working to implement policies that will reduce bycatch, establish science-based catch limits, and conserve important marine habitat.

“We greatly appreciate the support from the Wyss Foundation. Oceana’s goal is to save the oceans and feed the world by rebuilding oceans in the countries that control most of the world’s wild fish catch,” said Andy Sharpless, CEO of Oceana. “The Wyss Foundation’s new grant will enable us to help make Mexico’s oceans, which are among the most productive in the world, more abundant and biodiverse by winning policy victories that will stop overfishing, reduce bycatch and protect critical habitat.”

The Wyss Foundation’s support for ocean conservation in Mexico is part of an international, multi-organization effort to ensure that at least 50% of the world’s fisheries are under sustainable management within the next ten years. This international effort is backed by a new Wyss Foundation grant to Oceans 5, whose partners and grantees work around the world to establish marine reserves and combat overfishing.

“Marine protected areas are an amazingly effective strategy for improving the health of the oceans and coastal communities,” said J. Charles Fox, Program Director of Oceans 5, “Oceans 5 is an exciting new platform for collaboration among funders. The Wyss Foundation has an impressive track record of success and we welcome their support and experience in helping to establish marine protected areas throughout the world’s oceans.”

The Wyss Foundation, which has long supported locally-driven efforts to conserve public lands in the American West, has broadened its conservation philanthropy in recent years to support the protection of wildlife in eastern Africa, the modernization of fishery practices, and the stewardship of wild areas around the world.

(Photo credit: Carlos Minguell, Oceana)

About Oceans 5:

Oceans 5 (www.oceans5.org) is a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, a New York-based public charity. Its Members and Partners include the Oak Foundation, Planet Heritage Foundation, Marisla Foundation, Waitt Foundation, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Moore Charitable Foundation, Angell Family Foundation, and Bill and Shannon Joy.

About Oceana:

Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one third of the world’s wild fish catch. With over 100 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that one billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit www.oceana.org to learn more.

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