The source of the pollock supply chain is highly concentrated: ten companies own half of the global quotas. Together with fishery agencies in Russia and the US as well as the Marine Stewardship Council that certified three-quarters of pollock catches, they have considerable influence on the industry’s sustainability and profitability.

Bonding with Observers

If just 1% (USD 222 million) of global ‘harmful’ fishery subsidies were redirected to increased monitoring, a 20% observer coverage rate could be reached, thus reducing illegal fishing and overfishing.

Against the Tide

A case study focused on an entire industry of a G7 country, analysing the long-term financial performance of 70 listed Japanese seafood companies in this industry exposed to a declining natural resource.

Tackling Overfishing: Preventing Yellowfin Collapse in the Indian Ocean

In anticipation of the meeting of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission between the 8th and 12th of March to discuss management practices surrounding the sustainability of the yellowfin tuna and skipjack fisheries, this report investigates the high-level financial implications of yellowfin collapse in the Indian Ocean.

Traceable Returns

After the commercial fishing and aquaculture industries, Planet Tracker moves one notch down the seafood supply chain to investigate seafood processing companies, positioned halfway between harvesters and consumers. An under-researched industry, seafood processing is carried out by around 4,000 companies globally, which together handle most of the seafood produced globally. This new Report reveals how traceability could align sustainability with profitability issues in the sector.

Can Blue Bonds Finance a fish stock recovery?

It is clear that ocean fishing is on an unsustainable course of rising demand and falling supply but could recover if the reset button is pushed. Restrictions on catch, along with a proper debt financing vehicle, would assist in creating a financially viable transition scenario to sustainable oceans. A blue bond provides a more profitable route than the business-as-usual scenario, over the long-term. However, such a financing mechanism requires transparency, traceability and co-ordination. If the will is there, the prize is the ability to feed the world a healthy diet and prevent the deterioration of ocean ecosystems.

Go to the Blue Recovery Bond Dashboard.

Loch-ed Profits: Forecast farmed salmon industry growth not converting to stable profit margins

Our latest Tracker Report, Loch-ed Profits, shows that while salmon production is fast approaching the practical physical limits permitted by current coastal farming methods, the industry is still some way from moving to more sustainable and cost-effective methods at scale.

Environmental threats such as climate change, disease, sea lice and harmful algal blooms, compounded by issues such as collapsing wild-catch feedstock fisheries, leave the industry and its investors facing growing financial and concentration risk in the face of increased environmental constraint-based losses and price volatility.

Such price volatility is already apparent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reduced demand for farmed Atlantic salmon (the second most commercially valuable farmed aquatic species and accounting for over 92% of total farmed salmon) and resulted in a 14% decline in spot prices in Q1 2020.

Planet Tracker estimates that if historic trends continue and coastal ecological health continues to decline, total production forecasts for coastal farmed Atlantic salmon to 2025 may be 6% to 8% lower than predicted, equivalent to US$4.1 billion.

Perfect Storm - Profits at Risk in the Japanese Seafood Industry

Rebuilding sustainable stocks of wild-catch fish could transform Japan’s seafood industry, increase profits, preserve its reputation and reduce financial risk to investors, according to a report published by Planet Tracker.

Avoiding Aquafailure

The farmed seafood industry will miss consumer demand by around a fifth by 2050 and drive further biodiversity loss – unless it changes. Diversifying farmed seafood production towards regenerative aquaculture can close a predicted 50 million tonnes supply gap while tackling biodiversity risks. Investors and lenders need to consider the material risks of the status quo and provide finance to help transition companies as high concentration leaves the industry vulnerable to biodiversity risks, leading to higher costs, more regulation and capped production.

No More Sailing in the Dark

Only 8% of the hundred largest seafood companies – both listed and private – disclose the exact seafood species they are invested in for their entire portfolio. This lack of transparency presents a major risk for investors and lenders, preventing an accurate assessment of risk and opportunity.

To promote greater transparency across the USD 1.8 trillion seafood supply chain – and to consolidate different data sources into one place where they can be examined in context – Planet Tracker has created an interactive Seafood Database, which enables users to filter through companies and compare their exposure to overfishing, illegal fishing and blue sustainability risks.

How to Trace $600 billion

A low average profit margin across the seafood supply chain means the total cost of production is really the main driver of end-prices. Cutting down on even a few areas of unnecessary expenditure, which can be identified through improved traceability, can thus result in significant profit boosts. Just a 1% investment could unlock a USD 600 billion-dollar boost in global seafood enterprise valuations.

How retailers can be sustainable and profitable in seafood

Retailers that sell seafood can improve the sustainability of ocean ecosystems by channelling demand for seafood away from unsustainably produced seafood and towards sustainably managed and produced fish. All it takes is a change in their sourcing decisions evidenced by greater transparency. It is by no means easy, nor quick to implement, but doable, and as this report shows, might well turn out to be profitable.

Making MPAs more efficient with IUCN Green List Bonds

Introducing IUCN Green List bonds, whereby increased funding for protected areas is supplied by investors in the bond and tied to increased conservation efficiency (namely when a protected area joins the IUCN Green List). This eliminates the risk of ‘paper parks’, de-risks public funding, and aligns investors returns with conservation efficiency.

Do you IUU?

How can investors be sure that they are not exposed to illegal fishing? Most seafood supply chains are exposed to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing risk.

Planet Tracker found three listed companies presumed to have engaged in IUU fishing. Due diligence by investors remains crucial, especially as anti-IUU regulations are strengthening. Planet Tracker has therefore created an IUU Detection Toolkit which helps investors compute an IUU fishing risk score for any listed fishing company.