Conservation International announces new efforts to scale the development of Jurisdictional Initiatives that Drive Holistic Improvements in Pacific Tuna Fisheries

March 6, 2024

ARLINGTON, Va. (March 6, 2024) – Conservation International (CI) has announced a new phase in its mission to drive holistic improvements in Pacific tuna fisheries, with support from the Walmart Foundation. CI will leverage its existing partnerships with government and tuna industry stakeholders to implement and scale jurisdictional initiatives that promote sustainable tuna fisheries, ecosystem protection, social responsibility and economic resilience in the Pacific Island region. The initiative will build on previous efforts to strengthen the environmental, social, and economic performance of South Pacific longline tuna fleets in Fiji and in New Caledonia.  

Jurisdictional initiatives are place-based efforts in key food-producing regions that utilize policy and market-based approaches to drive improvements at scale. These initiatives leverage public sector reforms and private sector transformation to achieve positive environmental, social, and economic outcomes in priority fisheries and aquaculture areas. 

“Jurisdictional initiatives can be really effective at aligning incentives among governments, local communities, and private-sector groups and mobilizing their collective action toward a shared vision for sustainable seafood production,” said Pablo Obregon, who was previously the Sustainable Tuna Program Director at Conservation International and recently joined World Wildlife Fund as the Director of Western Pacific Seascapes. “Building on the successes we’ve had in applying these approaches to terrestrial commodities, we are thrilled to see that governments, civil society, and international retailers are increasingly prioritizing jurisdictional initiatives to drive holistic improvements in seafood production at scale.” 

The new initiative will support Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s goal to help protect, more sustainably manage, or restore at least 1 million square miles of ocean by 2030. “We are pleased to support CI in the development of jurisdictional initiatives, which drive regenerative practices, integrate conservation and restoration, are aligned with local stakeholder goals, and which deliver positive environmental, social, and economic impacts,” said Julie Gehrki, Vice President for the Walmart Foundation.  

Given the relatively nascent nature of jurisdictional initiatives for seafood, additional guidance is needed to enable collaborators in the public and private sectors to effectively contribute toward these efforts. In response to this need, Conservation International and World Wildlife Fund recently released a set of guidelines to accelerate the development and implementation of jurisdictional initiatives for the seafood sector. The guidelines outline a recommended approach for achieving positive environmental, social, and economic outcomes in a way that balances seafood production, ocean protection, and human well-being. They include tailored recommendations for key stakeholders needed to establish a robust, successful seafood jurisdictional initiative, including step-by-step guidance for: 

  • project developers to effectively scope, co-design and implement jurisdictional initiatives in their production geography;  
  • government authorities to engage in co-designing and implementing jurisdictional initiatives; and  
  • seafood importers, brands and end buyers to support jurisdictional initiatives in their own supply chains and commit to producers who are engaged in relevant place-based improvement projects.  

“These guidance documents will be critical in supporting the development and implementation of seafood jurisdictional initiatives through a standardized approach,” said Julie Gehrki, Vice President for the Walmart Foundation, which funded the creation of the guidelines. 

Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund, and partners will leverage these recently developed resources efforts to scale jurisdictional initiatives for various seafood commodities, including tuna and shrimp. 


About Conversation International: About Conservation International: Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, for biodiversity and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities to help people and nature thrive together. Go to for more, and follow our work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube

About World Wildlife Fund: World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in nearly 100 countries for over half a century to help people and nature thrive. With the support of more than 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat the climate crisis. Visit to learn more and keep up with the latest conservation news by following @WWFNews on Twitter and signing up for our newsletter and news alerts here

About Philanthropy at Walmart: represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By focusing where the business has unique strengths, works to tackle key social and environmental issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 24 countries, employs more than 2 million associates and does business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. is helping people live better by supporting programs to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, advance equity, address hunger, build inclusive economic opportunity for people in supply chains, protect and restore nature, reduce waste and emissions, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit or connect on Twitter @Walmartorg.