Closing the fishery has been on the agenda of previous governments in Honduras, but there has always been a barrier to implementation because of how to resolve the loss of employment to indigenous Miskitu who work in the fishery, the lost investments of the fishing boat owners and the question of who would provide the necessary capital investment to fund a solution.
A two pronged solution being reviewed by the Honduran government aims designate an area for artisanal fishing around the Miskito cays, to provide employment to lobster divers leaving the fishery. At the same time they are developing a fund to buy out the existing commercial dive boats to compensate owners on their investment.
The required investment capital would come from “impact” investors who are interested in deriving social and ecological benefits from investments along with their financial return. A small levy on the revenue derived from lobster exports, administered through a trust fund in the Central Bank of Honduras, would then be used to repay the initial investment.
This simple but elegant solution to a long standing fishery problem caused wide spread interest at the meeting including praise from His Royal Highness at a side meeting with the ministerial attendees.
Across the world many fisheries are in trouble because of unsustainable fishing practices that have entrenched social, ecological and economic problems. Developing solutions to these problems has emerged as a global priority in the 21st century as society becomes more aware of the scale of the problems facing the marine environment and the critical dependence that human kind has on the oceans of the world.
Honduras, through its innovative use of investment finance is now positioned to be a global example on how to solve complex fisheries problems. This is the core concept of the emerging “blue economy”.