National-Scale Fisheries
Public-private investment at the national scale can provide the tools needed to protect vulnerable fish stocks and rebuild port infrastructure, while targeting a market rate financial return.

National-Scale Fisheries Strategies

The Nexus Blue Strategy

The National-Scale Fisheries strategy focuses on one country: The Philippines

The term “national-scale fishery” refers to fisheries that face critical barriers to effective governance stemming from a lack of infrastructure, data, institutional capacity, and political will to deliver effective regulations and public commitments. These fundamental deficiencies in resources, information, institutional capacity, and technology inhibit effective fisheries management at the national or supranational scale, distort market incentives and are at the root of illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing.

Investment Strategy

Among the greatest challenges to national-level fisheries reform in emerging markets is the lack of transparency and data on the status of the underlying resource and the flow of products through the supply chain. Lack of data prevents authorities, seafood buyers, and other stakeholders from knowing who is fishing illegally, where they are fishing, how much they are catching, and where that product is being sold. Greater control of information offers significant potential to tip this system in a positive direction, and the growth in low-cost data management technologies and “Big Data” offer promising solutions.

We sought to address this challenge by developing a public-private partnership (PPP) model to finance, develop, implement and operate infrastructure and services necessary to address critical information gaps. This approach identifies the key pressure points in the system where relatively small investments in infrastructure can have outsized social and environmental impact. By employing a PPP model, the private sector can help finance complementary IT and monitoring infrastructure, such as vessel monitoring systems (VMS) and electronic catch accounting, where the public sector has failed to deliver these resources. This in turn enables fisheries authorities to focus limited monitoring and enforcement resources on the regions and situations where interventions can be most impactful.

The Nexus Blue Strategy
A $34.0 million public-private partnership investment to finance and implement infrastructure and IT solutions throughout the Philippines’ seafood supply chain.

The Philippines

Despite the importance of marine fisheries in the Philippines to both food security and the economy, it ranks 21st among the top 28 fish-producing nations in terms of fishery management and governance, due to limited research capacity, lack of effective access limitations, and improving but still inadequate enforcement of existing regulations.

The Nexus Blue Strategy (Nexus Blue) is a hypothetical $34.0 million public-private partnership investment structure to finance and implement targeted infrastructure and IT solutions that would enable management reforms throughout the supply chain of the Philippines’ high-value regional tuna fisheries. This strategy seeks to upgrade the operations and infrastructure of the General Santos Fish Port Complex (GenSan), and the port, in turn, serves as the platform for implementing and operating a comprehensive fisheries information management system (FIMS) PPP. GenSan acts as a “bridge” between on-the-water production and high-value export markets, offering a natural leverage point in the otherwise complex and diffuse supply chain.

Nexus Blue proposes a public-private partnership investment strategy featuring the following two components:

  1. Upon establishing a project company special purpose vehicle (NexusCo), invest $2.1 million in a subsidiary of NexusCo (referred to hereafter as FIMSCo), which would be dedicated to the development and implementation of a comprehensive Fisheries Information Management System (FIMS). The FIMS would have two interdependent components: 1) At sea, “On-the-Water” IT infrastructure and tools for data collection, monitoring, traceability, and enforcement; and 2) Port-Based IT Infrastructure and tools for catch accounting, market transparency/efficiency, traceability, and enforcement.
  1. Simultaneously invest $30.6 million in a second subsidiary NexusCo, referred to as “PortCo”, which would be dedicated towards port infrastructure renovations and long-term operations of the General Santos Fish Port Complex. Specifically, this would restore the port to the environmental, safety, sanitation and food safety standards that it was originally designed to meet, increase the efficiency and quality of operations, logistics, post-harvest services (processing and cold storage facilities) and market activities, to the benefit of GenSan’s users. In addition, management and operational efficiencies promise to put GenSan back on a path to financial viability, and establish a world-class operation that can serve as a model throughout the region.