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Why we want to help:

Oceans cover more than two-thirds of the earth’s surface, and the fish that live in their waters are crucial to the world’s economy, health and environment. Figures suggest that 1 billion people, predominately in developing countries, depend on fish as their primary source of protein1 and in Africa it is estimated that the fisheries sector employs 12.3 million people, with marine artisanal fisheries contributing over $8Million to GDP2.

But, according to the UN, the proportion of marine fish stocks estimated to be overexploited, depleted or recovering increased from 10% in 1974 up to 32% in 2008, and the proportion of underexploited or moderately exploited stocks declined from 40% in the mid-1970s to 15% in 20083. Assessment of marine fish stocks in 2014 indicated that 31.5% were overfished, 58% were fully fished and only 10.5% underfished4, endangering the lives and livelihoods of the millions depending on fish for their nutrition and livelihood.


What we will support:

Under our Marine programme, preference will be given to initiatives working to halt the decline of fish stocks that communities in developing countries rely on, and those working to bring about sustainable fisheries in Wales. We will consider both practical local projects, and strategic initiatives. The protection of mangroves to benefit local fisheries is also a component of our Marine Programme.


Local projects

Applications for local projects should demonstrate that they will positively impact upon the marine fisheries they are working to protect, and could include:

  • Development of marine protected areas or sustainable fisheries management
  • Addressing local causes of over-exploitation of fish stocks and other seafood
  • Creation of sustainable livelihoods for coastal and seafood dependent people

Click here for examples of local projects supported under our Marine programme.


Strategic projects

We will consider applications for strategic projects that are working on addressing marine issues at a wider or international scale. These could include:

  • Working on international or regional marine policy
  • Campaigning for improved practices in commerce
  • Exploring different fishing practices and techniques
  • Improving information exchange to eradicate illegal unreported and unregulated fishing

TWF is an active partner of Funding FISH which was established to support the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy as a means of making fisheries in Europe sustainable. Any project applications that are working on CFP implementation should be submitted via the Funding FISH Initiative. Details of this can be found here.

Click here for examples of strategic projects supported under our Marine programme



We are not able to offer funding for:

  • Projects with animal conservation as the sole focus
  • Projects focusing on environmental education
  • Projects based in freshwater fisheries (e.g. Lake Victoria)
  • Research projects
  • Projects based in countries that are not secure and politically stable. We are therefore unlikely to support projects in conflict-affected areas
  • In addition, we only consider proposals from US-based organisations under exceptional circumstances, due to the higher availability of environmental funding in the US compared to the UK.



If you think that you are eligible for funding, please see the Environment - Application Guidelines page for guidance about how to submit a funding application.

Please note that all applications must be submitted to



  1. UNEP Overfishing PDF
  2. FAO (2014). The Value of African Fisheries
  3. IOC/UNESCO, IMO, FAO, UNDP. (2011). A Blueprint for Ocean and Coastal Sustainability. Paris: IOC/UNESCO
  4. FAO (2014). The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture






Last updated Tuesday 4 February, 2020