What We Fund


A better future for people and the ocean is possible.

The ocean makes life on our planet possible. It delivers the oxygen we breathe and regulates our climate. It provides food for billions of people around the world. But the ocean that we all depend on is in danger. Increasing threats such as overfishing and climate change are putting pressure on the ocean and damaging its ability to sustain ocean life, ultimately endangering our own well-being.

Creating positive, lasting change will not be easy, but it is possible. For half a century, the Packard Foundation has made investments to expand our understanding of the ocean and has worked with partners to improve its long-term health. We continue to invest in countries and global strategies that help improve our ocean’s sustainability.

It’s not too late for life in the ocean to recover, yet time is of the essence. Working together, guided by science and inspired by human ingenuity, we can ensure a better future for the ocean.

We aim to:

  • Help the United States, Mexico, Chile, Indonesia, China and Japan to ensure that fishing and marine aquaculture are sustainable and to protect places that are vital to maintaining biodiversity and wild fish stocks.
  • Promote global markets for sustainable seafood.
  • Eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing—referred to here as illegal fishing—around the world.
  • Protect seabirds and shorebirds and their habitats.
  • Understand and proactively address the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions on the ocean.

Our Approach

Our approach to marine conservation is centered around promoting solutions that build a better future for both people and nature and strengthening grantee capacity to work towards those solutions. We are taking steps now toward embedding justice and equity in the work we fund and how we collaborate with the people directly affected by the work our Foundation supports. We draw from a range of tested approaches that can be applied and adjusted to fit grantees’ needs and challenges


Leveraging the power of seafood-buying markets

Continue to use the influence of companies in markets that import large amounts of seafood – including the U.S., EU, and Japan to improve the health of fisheries and safeguard the rights of fishers in countries that produce seafood.

Supporting policy, regulatory, and enforcement reforms.

Build support to establish and strengthen fisheries and marine conservation policies and allocate resources to support implementation of those policies.

Fellowships in philanthropy.

In partnership with the U.C. Berkeley Center for Social Sector Leadership, provide recent graduates from diverse disciplines and backgrounds a professional-level introduction to philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. Learn more about the Research Analyst program.


Improving scientific, economic, and policy knowledge

Support the collection of clear, consistent, and useful data on the state of marine resources and on solutions to manage those resources more sustainably.


Enhancing leadership and capacity

Support civil society engagement with government managers and leadership and training for civil society organizations, scientists, and other decision makers to strengthen their impact.