The Sustainable Fisheries and Communities Trust (SFACT) was established in May 2020 with a mission to protect fishing livelihoods and communities in vulnerable Coastal States

Why the Indian Ocean?

SFACT’s founder, John Burton, has a long history of philanthropic work centred around sustainable and ethical food supply chains, and has recognised that many of the Coastal States in the Indian Ocean are suffering as a result of overexploitation of fish stocks by distant water fleets. There is a lack of transparency in the industrial fishing sector, and this lack of transparency has paved the way for multiple issues to arise in this region, such as destructive fishing techniques with high bycatch and ghost fishing rates, human rights abuses including modern-day slavery, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing).

The World Bank states that many developing coastal communities are heavily reliant on marine resources for their livelihoods and food security, and yet large distant water fleets that engage in unsustainable practices are dominating the decision-making surrounding catch allocation and market access. Coastal communities are also less able to make progress towards global sustainable goals such as the UN’s SDGs, due to minimal financial freedom and little access to technological advancements and innovation.

SFACT’s principal goals are to advocate for these communities, to ensure their voice is heard in the conversations that determine their future, and thus protect the ecosystem and natural resources in the process.

Meet the Team

SFACT is led by four Trustees, John, Louise, Momo and Andrew, who between them have more than 60 years of experience engaging with key stakeholders and Coastal States in the Indian Ocean. Their strong relationships with government and ministry officials places them in the perfect position to advocate for these Coastal States and use their vast network and expertise to improve livelihoods.

The Trustees are joined by the rest of the team who bring their statistical and scientific expertise to the table, and work to make SFACT’s ambitions a reality.

John Burton

Trustee

John Burton is the Chairman of World Wise Foods Ltd, whose principal business is the supply of canned pole and line caught tuna to leading retailers in the UK and around the world. His lifelong passion for equitable pole and line caught tuna has involved him in a number of sustainability initiatives with partner NGOs in the fisheries world, and engagements with governments of developing coastal states.

Andrew Bassford

Trustee

Andrew Bassford is the CEO of Marine Change and Financing Change, focused on sustainable development and investment in Asia. Andrew acts as a representative for Plastic Energy in Australia and SE Asia, which uses advanced chemical recycling to transform end-of-life waste plastic into oil to create new plastics.

Louise Nicholls

Trustee

Louise Nicholls is the Managing Director of Suseco, advising a broad range of clients from manufacturers to retailers, start-ups, investors and collaborative initiatives on sustainability and human rights. Louise is passionate about helping organisations make faster traction on sustainability and human rights.

Momo Kochen

Trustee

Momo Kochen is a technical fisheries consultant with over 10 years of experience working in small scale fisheries projects globally. Momo developed and oversaw the implementation of the world’s first Fair Trade certified seafood – Indonesian yellowfin tuna.

Beatrice Kinyua

Research Consultant

Beatrice Kinyua has a background in statistics, holding a Masters in Social Statistics from Nairobi University and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Statistics from Moi University. She is passionate about understanding and analysing data, all while reporting it professionally and transparently.

Sophie Atkinson

Project Coordinator

Sophie Atkinson recently completed an MSci in Zoology with Spanish, and has 2 years of experience working within NGOs that focus on advocating for small-scale fisheries. Sophie’s degree and career so far have ignited her passion for marine conservation and the equitable share of fish stocks.

Want to get involved?

We welcome collaboration, so if you’d like to help us achieve our mission, or if you have any questions about our work, please get in touch.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

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