By Samantha Semoso – EMTV Online
Three Fijiian seafood entrepreneurs will feature in the finals of the Fish 2.0 competition in Stanford, California this November.
Fish 2.0 is a business competition seeking to transform unsustainable seafood sector practices into sustainable businesses.
It connects global seafood businesses with potential investors giving them an opportunity to win over US$180,000 in prizes, gain international visibility, find strategic partners and ultimately garner new investments for their businesses.
It also aims to build the knowledge and connections needed to increase investment in the sustainable seafood sector.
Pacific Fishing Company Limited (PAFCO), Sea Quest Fiji Limited, and runners-up Crab Company of Fiji, are among the thirty-six qualifiers pitching to a broad group of investors, experts, and grant-maker’s, competing for cash prizes and professional service awards.
The three Fiji seafood businesses will be joined by Vanuatu based Alfa Fishing and Pacific Ocean Culture as the only other seafood and aquaculture businesses from the Pacific that have made it this far.
This year the Fish 2.0 competition looked to foster the growth of sustainable seafood businesses in the Pacific by providing targeted support to competitors from the region.
In collaboration with their regional partners, WWF-Pacific and IUCN, a capacity-building workshop was held in Nadi in March to strengthen the interest and potential for Pacific Island seafood business owners and entrepreneurs to learn about Fish 2.0. It was also a chance to obtain training to help address issues specific to their businesses and provide support for those participants interested to enter the broader Fish 2.0 competition.
Of the 17 enterprises that attended the Pacific Workshop, four (PAFCO, Crab Company, Alfa Fishing and Pacific Ocean Culture) have reached the finals. With the support of IdEa (a partnership between the US State Department, the Calvert Foundation and USAID), and the Western Pacific Program of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, a further six entrepreneurs from the Pacific (who reached Phase three) will be invited to attend the finals as observers.
The competing businesses went through three phrases of judging before the 36 finalists were chosen. The Fish 2.0 final will be held at Standford University in November.