Blue Impact Fund

Finance Earth and WWF have worked together since 2018 to create the Blue Impact Fund, a pioneering impact fund investing in the UK sustainable blue economy.
The Blue Impact Fund will target enterprises producing sustainable seafood and aquatic plants that can generate attractive returns while delivering ocean resilience and recovery.

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Background

The blue economy is expected to double over the next decade. However, unsustainable economic activity is driving widespread loss of marine biodiversity, degrading and destroying vital habitats and the wildlife that depend on them.

However, the technologies and expertise required to ensure the sustainable growth of the blue economy exist in the world today, with new innovative solutions constantly in development. Enterprises that directly improve the resilience of or reduce pressure on the marine environment make up only a small part of the overall blue economy. We want to change that.

Finance Earth and WWF have collaborated to research and map the most impactful, investable opportunities for the UK sustainable blue economy. Seafood and aquatic plants, and their connected supply chains, present market-ready investment opportunities that provide substantial and lasting social and environmental benefits, while also being underpinned by significant and growing market demand.

Investment opportunity

Global food fish consumption has grown faster over the last six decades than that of all terrestrial animals combined.[source: FAO] Aquaculture – the farming of seafood and aquatic plants – is the fastest-growing food production method globally, a trend that is projected to continue over the next decade.

Furthermore, innovation and development within the sector has demonstrated additional, alternative uses for aquatic plants, such as in the creation of bioplastics and as key ingredients in nutraceuticals.

 

World aquaculture production of aquatic animals and algae, 1990-2018

Source: FAO

Impact opportunity

Impact

How

Protect and restore marine ecosystems
  • Creating de facto “no take zones”
  • Improving water quality through nutrient removal
  • Reducing incidence of disease and invasive species
  • Reducing waste and pollution
Reduce carbon and ecological footprint
  • Direct carbon sequestration
  • Habitat creation
  • Creating new supply chain for alternatives to plastic and pharmaceuticals
  • Investing in space-efficient solutions through careful siting and multitrophic arrangement
  • Enabling vertical integration of renewable energy systems
  • Reducing transport impact
Improve livelihoods, health and wellbeing for communities
  • Providing employment, skills and economic growth
  • Providing locally-sourced seafood products for consumers

Investment strategy

The Blue Impact Fund aims to build a diversified portfolio of investments that will create further opportunities for portfolio synergies.

The investment team has developed a high-quality pipeline across the following key themes:

  • Marine aquaculture including near-shore and offshore production and on-shore Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS)
  • Fisheries
  • Seafood supply chain enterprises including upstream supply (for example, sustainable fish feed) and downstream processing and sales

All Blue Impact Fund investments are subject to rigorous impact assessment criteria that has been carefully designed in collaboration with WWF, ensuring that the Blue Impact Fund upholds industry best practice and enables continued, sustainable innovation and growth.

Enhancing impact through an Ocean Recovery Trust

The Blue Impact Fund has been created alongside an aligned charity, the Ocean Recovery Trust, that will work to restore ocean health by funding innovation, capacity building, and marine conservation programmes, growing the sustainable blue economy and delivering ocean restoration.

The Ocean Recovery Trust will be funded through a ‘conservation dividend’ generated by the Blue Impact Fund, alongside additional philanthropic donations.

The team

Finance Earth have developed a specialist investment team with deep understanding of the seafood and aquatic plant markets and the unique risks and opportunities within them.

Investment team

James Mansfield

Managing Director

Richard Speak

Managing Director

James Fox-Davies

Investment Director

Alicia Gibson

Senior Associate

Olivia Bennett

Senior Associate

Alex Hume

Analyst

Specialist advisors

Shane Hunter

Technical Specialist

Daniel Fairweather

Aquaculture Risk Specialist

Dennis Overton

Seafood Commercial Specialist

Piers Hart

Seafood Impact Specialist

Fund operations

Craig Humphrey

Risk and Compliance Director

Grazia Sarpietro

Fund Accountant

Jonny Fletcher

Accounts Assistant

Marva Gowie

Office Manager

WWF marine and sustainable finance team

Louise Heaps

Head of Blue Economy

Toby Roxburgh

Head of Sustainable Economic Policy

Lucy Holmes

Senior Programme Manager for Seafood Finance

Lyndsey Dodds

Head of Marine Policy

Sean Clement

UK Marine Policy Officer

Find out how you can get involved.

Get in touch.

The contents of this website do not constitute a ‘financial promotion’ for the purposes of Section 21 Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (United Kingdom) (‘FSMA’). This website has been prepared for information purposes only and none of its contents should be construed as an offer, or the solicitation of an offer, to buy or sell any security, product, service or investment.