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Courthouse Nonprofit Launches Fund to Help Sustain Asian Fisheries

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A Courthouse-based nonprofit has launched a new investment fund to help coastal fishers in Asia be more sustainable, raising $10 million in its first round of funding.

Non-governmental organization Rare (1310 N. Courthouse Road), which focuses on global conservation, manages The Meloy Fund, an investment fund that looks to incentivize sustainable fisheries and increase the number of fish in the sea. It will do this by investing in companies that can help fishing communities or help provide alternative employment for fishers in Indonesia and the Philippines.

The fund, unique in both Arlington and the financial industry, a spokeswoman said, projects it will improve the lives of 100,000 fishers and their families. It will also help manage 1.2 million hectares of coastal habitats, including coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves.

“The innovation of the Meloy Fund is to recognize the latent opportunity for value creation in the undervalued coastal fisheries sector, and link the resulting investments with the necessary community engagement and fisheries management provided by Rare, which ensures long-term sustainability,” said Dale Galvin, managing director of Rare’s Sustainable Markets group, in a statement.

Investors in the fund include wealthy families, investment managers and foundations, like the Walton Family Foundation, which was started by Walmart founders Sam and Helen Walton to improve the environment, education and quality of life.

“I’m thrilled to invest in the Meloy Fund, and support its innovative model for deploying investment capital to the critical problems that coastal fisheries face in moving towards sustainability,” said Lukas Walton, a foundation heir, in a statement.

The Meloy Fund expects to receive more funding in the fall, including an anticipated $6 million from the environmental consultancy firm Global Environment Facility.

Photos via Facebook.

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