BNP Paribas AM, other investors call for improved data on world’s oceans

By Thomson Reuters Jun 7, 2024 | 3:28 AM

LONDON (Reuters) – More detailed information about the world’s oceans, including deep-sea fishing and supply-chain sourcing, is needed to help companies make investments that can help to protect biodiversity, a group of financial services firms said on Friday.

Leading investors BNP Paribas Asset Management, Federated Hermes Limited, Robeco, Mirova and Storebrand Asset Management highlighted data gaps in sectors from deep-sea mining to shipping, offshore oil and gas, and ports.

They said higher quality ocean-related data was crucial for investors to understand the dependencies, impacts, risks and opportunities faced by companies, as countries act to implement a landmark international deal in 2022 to protect biodiversity.

The companies said the deal to protect 30% of the planet’s lands and inland waters, marine and coastal areas by 2030 was a crucial undertaking as the oceans are the largest eco-system, covering 71% of the planet, containing 1-2 million species and providing economic value of $2.5 trillion a year.

“To help investors make informed decisions, and investment in, companies and activities that are causing or resolving this significant harm to ocean biodiversity and allocate capital in a way that provides solutions to protect biodiversity, credible data, consistent with international standards, are crucial,” the investors said.

They said performance indicators such as the tracking of sea use change by square kilometre could help investors to understand companies’ compliance against regulations.

Other data could include supply chain sourcing, more local context around Arctic route trips and high-seas fishing activities, location and ownership data for vessels, hotels, fishing vessels and fish processors.

(Reporting by Simon Jessop. Editing by Jane Merriman)