Investment mananager Mirova announced that it has successfully closed the Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund (SOF), with final commitments exceeding $132 million.

The SOF is an impact investment fund that invests in marine and coastal projects and enterprises that can deliver economic returns in fisheries, aquaculture, the circular economy and marine conservation, supporting a sustainable ocean economy globally. The SOF is part of Mirova’s natural capital platform. The fund team is led by Simon Dent and David Barley.

Dent said:

“The damage that we are doing to our oceans continues to threaten our existence both economically and environmentally, through overfishing, ocean acidification, and through ecosystem destruction driven by ocean bound waste and plastic pollution. The Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund’s final close allows us, with the support of our investors, to address these issues through dedicated impact investments bringing much needed finance and supporting best practise in the sector.”

The fund’s investments will focus on three key areas, including sustainable seafood, the circular economy and ocean conservation. The fund is aimed at creating value in these areas by improving the sustainability and efficiency of portfolio companies, through increased productivity, reduced intermediation, increased quality and market access.

According to Mirova, the SOF has already committed to seven investments in areas ranging from sustainable seafood production, to tackling marine waste and plastics pollution, through to the creation of new Marine Protected Areas. The SOF is actively seeking additional investments that bring measurable and quantifiable impact to ocean and coastal ecosystems, that can demonstrate sustainable business models with a commercial return for investors.

Mirova stated that the fund was established in partnership with Conservation International and the Environmental Defence Fund, ensuring that investments into projects uphold the highest environmental standards and allow for collaboration with local stakeholders, including communities and governments. Additionally, the fund is partnered with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and has executed a risk sharing guarantee through USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA) that provides loan guarantees directly to portfolio investments made by the SOF.

David Barley said:

“As well reaching a final close we are also delighted to be developing a talented investment and technical team that can help draw the roadmap for blue investments for the next decade.”