April 20, 2020

 

Meloy Fund seeks to invest in Southeast Asia's coastal fisheries

 

 

The Meloy Fund for Sustainable Community Fisheries is seeking to make a wave of investment in coastal fisheries in Southeast Asia, where it believes impact capital will be beneficial for both fishermen and the environment.

 

Meloy Fund is an impact investment fund affiliated with the conservation group Rare. It hopes that banks, venture capital, and private equity will eventually join in.

 

"We had to take on a little risk to be first, and certainly our investors did the same," Meloy Fund Managing Partner Dale Galvin said. "It's a risky sector. It has a lot of seasonality to it and it's poorly understood, especially when it comes to the product."

 

Earlier this month, the Meloy Fund announced an investment in Indonesian tuna processor and exporter PT SIG. The investment is meant to spur PT SIG, which sources yellowfin tuna from artisanal fishermen and exports it globally, to make direct improvements in its traceability system, a transparent pricing scheme for fishermen, and a responsible sourcing policy.

 

"At PT SIG Asia, we take pride in our products and our strong relationships with our customers and the local fishing community," PT SIG Asia Founder and CEO Daniel Loy said in a statement. "This partnership with the Meloy Fund gives us an opportunity to expand our company, implement value-generating environmental, social, and governance-compliant practices, and expand our leadership in the sustainable seafood industry in our region."

 

The Meloy Fund chooses investments that will both improve livelihoods and protect natural resources. It targets the Philippines and Indonesia, where there are 4.3 million small-scale fishers harvesting 2.7 million tonnes of fish—an untapped value of USD 4 billion (EUR 3.7 billion).

 

The fund targets businesses too large for microfinance but too small for private equity, supporting growth-stage enterprises. It seeks to invest between USD 1 million (EUR 930,000) and USD 5 million (EUR 4.6 million) in debt or equity.

 

The Meloy Fund focuses on coastal areas because they contain 90% of the jobs, 90% of biodiversity, and half the fish, Galvin said.

 

"Our job is to do as much as possible to support that artisanal side of that and make sure it's done responsibly and sustainably," Galvin said. "This is a completely overlooked part of the ocean."

 

With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting supply chains, the Meloy Fund is committing to helping its companies and constituents in Southeast Asia by ensuring financial liquidity for companies and making sure employees are being taken care of through furloughs, Galvin said. The fund is also putting together some aid packages of health and safety equipment as well as staple food supplies.