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Sci Adv. 2019 Oct 2;5(10):eaax3324. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aax3324. eCollection 2019 Oct.

Leverage points in the financial sector for seafood sustainability.

Author information

1
Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
2
Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere Academy Programme, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.
3
University of Birmingham Business School, Birmingham, UK.
4
Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.
5
School of Management, University of St Andrews, Gateway, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, UK.

Abstract

Can finance contribute to seafood sustainability? This is an increasingly relevant question given the projected growth of seafood markets and the magnitude of social and environmental challenges associated with seafood production. As more capital enters the seafood industry, it becomes crucial that investments steer the sector toward improved sustainability, as opposed to fueling unsustainable working conditions and overexploitation of resources. Using a mixed-methods approach, we map where different financial mechanisms are most salient along a seafood firm's development trajectory and identify three leverage points that can redirect capital toward more sustainable practices: loan covenants, stock exchange listing rules, and shareholder activism. We argue that seafood sustainability requirements need to be integrated into traditional financial services and propose key research avenues for academic, policy, and practice communities. While our study focuses on the role of finance in seafood sustainability, the insights developed are also of high relevance to other extractive industries.

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