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ASC Promotes Blue Finance and Investment at Monaco Ocean Week

As part of the Monaco Ocean Week, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) convened a roundtable in the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco on 20 March, to examine the transformative role which sustainable investments and blue finance can play in protecting the oceans.

Blue foods are part of the future’s food security solution. With the theme “The contribution of responsible aquaculture and the role of blue finance in protecting the oceans,” the roundtable discussed the challenges and opportunities associated with blue finance, as well as its crucial role in promoting responsible aquaculture.

Moderated by ASC’s Global Director for Research and Insights Bertrand Charron, panelists brought their perspectives regarding responsible seafood production and the criteria taken into consideration to both secure impact and returns on investments. The panel featured renowned experts from SWEN Capital Partners’ Blue Ocean venture capital fund, aquaponic shrimp farm Agriloops and processing company Labeyrie Fine Foods.

Christian Lim, Managing Director at SWEN Capital Partners, said “Impact investments need banks and insurance funds at the international level. We also need to join forces with corporate investors. On the market side, we need to have an aggregated impact and a common set of KPI to provide transparency and credibility on impact return.”

Estelle Brennan, Head of Sustainability at Labeyrie Fine Foods, highlighted transparency as part of social responsibility. “You have to be transparent and report on your company’s social and environmental impacts,” Brennan said.

Jérémie Cognard, Co-founder and CEO of the aquaponics company Agriloops, said there was “no better moment than today to do something in sustainable aquaculture.”

Consumers are looking for transparency and transparency can bring a company to success or failure,” Cognard added.

At the end of the roundtable discussion, three key points were highlighted:

  • Blue finance plays a crucial role in the transformation of aquaculture and fisheries. Panelists discussed the role of innovation and technology in the industry’s transition, as well as the growth of blue finance over the past five years, which now represents 1 billion euros.
  • There is a need for greater transparency and reliable sustainability and performance indicators. Participants stressed the importance of measuring sustainability in a consistent way, and of having clear and reliable indicators to create confidence among financiers and encourage impact investments. They also highlighted the importance of social issues beyond performance indicators and data.
  • Collaboration is important among all stakeholders – producers, distributors, institutions and financiers – to meet the challenges and support the industry in its transition.