The C-FISH Fund is a new private-public partnership specially designed to provide sustainable financial support to Caribbean fish sanctuaries. The C-FISH Fund will use a range of innovative and “business-based” fund-raising mechanisms that will both support livelihoods in vulnerable communities and encourage the engagement of tourists, donors and stakeholders. The C-FISH Fund has the support of Virgin Holidays, The Travel Foundation, The Sandals Foundation and Royal Caribbean. Other organizations and companies have also expressed support.
The C-FISH Fund is a complimentary activity of the Caribbean Fish Sanctuaries Partnership Initiative, which is being implemented by CARIBSAVE with the support (£2.1 million) of the UK Government. The C-FISH Fund will therefore benefit immediately from the following:
- Qualified staff with expert local knowledge of Caribbean fish sanctuaries
- A well-resourced and active programme of activities in support of fish sanctuaries
- Local partners and strong links with key stakeholders and governments
- In-kind support for the administrative and operational activities of the fund
- Staff based “on the ground” in Jamaica, Barbados and St Lucia
Why is the C-FISH Fund being established? Because there is both an urgent need to support community-based fish sanctuaries and a unique opportunity to create a new fund based on a new public-private partnership that can provide long-term sustainable financial support for their management.
The tourism sector is also increasingly interested in supporting fish sanctuaries, which attract thousands of visitors who want to dive among large shoals of big fish or glide over them in glass bottom boats. Hotel owners, tour operators and tourists all have a vested interest in creating successful fish sanctuaries, but often the mechanism for meaningful engagement with the local fishing community is lacking. The C-FISH Fund is being established specifically to provide a mechanism for businesses and individuals to support fish sanctuaries in the knowledge that their contribution will be (1) used effectively in the location of their choice, (2) supported by a large UKaid project with highly-qualified staff and (3) closely monitored to ensure tangible ecological and socio-economic benefits.
The C-FISH Fund was officially launched in London on the 30th January 2014 by board members Dr Murray Simpson, (Caribsave founder and CEO), Dr Owen Day (C-FISH Initiative Director), Heidi Clarke (Sandals Foundation), Salli Felton, (Travel Foundation) and Jamie Sweeting (Royal Caribbean).