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The World Bank in partnership with the Government of Indonesia has launched the Coastal Fisheries Initiative Challenge Fund. With financing of USD$1 million from the Global Environment Facility, the Challenge Fund will support sustainable investments into Indonesia's coastal fisheries sector.

The new initiative, part of the World Bank’s Indonesia Sustainable Oceans Program (ISOP), will work with   potential investors on developing business plans for sustainable fisheries, promote private-sector investment opportunities in sustainable fisheries, share lessons learned from past investment successes, and build partnerships between fishing communities and sustainability-minded businesses.

Indonesia is the world’s second largest fisheries producer. The sector generates approximately US$4.1 billion in annual export earnings, supports more than 7 million jobs, and provides over 50% of Indonesia's animal-based dietary protein. The industry is facing uncertainty, however, with some coastal fisheries stocks at risk from overfishing and management challenges, including limitations to effective management plans, insufficient data and research, and limited opportunities for investment in socially and environmentally responsible fishing.

Socially and environmentally responsible seafood not only supports healthy fish populations and marine habitats, but is also considered higher–value on the international market — thus increasing revenue for coastal communities involved in the industry and supporting profitable businesses over the long term.

The primary focus of the initiative will be on snapper and tuna fisheries in the Arafura and Savu Seas and surrounding archipelagic waters. This work is guided by an advisory committee comprising the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, the Ministry of National Development Planning and the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment.