Main Issue

The US$70 billion annual trade in international fisheries products is coming under increasing risk as the larger species are systematically removed from our oceans. Making matters worse, pollution and other human activities on the coasts are removing key spawning and nursery habitats. The serious depletion of coastal and marine fish stocks is now threatening our biodiversity and the well-being of our coastal communities.

More than 2.6 billion people depend on the oceans as their primary source of protein. Fisheries is vital in eliminating hunger, promoting health and reducing poverty. The decline of the world’s fishery resources has thus major implications for the livelihoods and well-being of coastal communities, especially in developing countries. 

What We Do

The GEF promotes sustainable fishing practices and wider ecosystem stewardship both on a regional level, as well as through national investments that tie to regional commitments. Our investments support the move from exploited fisheries to more sustainable practices. At the same time, we improve management of national and shared seascapes to support the billions of people who depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. Read more+


In recognition of the vital role fisheries play in eliminating hunger, promoting health and reducing poverty, the GEF has promoted sustainable fishing practices and wider ecosystem stewardship both on national and regional levels. The GEF has promoted improved management of shared fishery resources, as experienced in West Africa, the Humboldt Current, Bay of Bengal, the Coral Triangle as well as in the open sea, such as the Western Central Pacific. To date, the GEF through its International Waters focal area, has invested US$160 million in coastal and marine fisheries, leveraging roughly US$1 billion in funding from other partners. Read more+

$160 million

For coastal and marine fisheries projects

$1 billion

Additional funding leveraged from other partners