Oceans 5


Oceans 5 is an international funder collaborative dedicated to protecting the world’s five oceans. Oceans 5 focuses its support on opportunistic projects and campaigns to establish marine reserves and constrain overfishing.

Issue Areas

Climate & Environment



Oceans 5 is an innovative funders’ collaborative that delivers remarkable results for the world’s five oceans. Founded in 2011 by four Partners, the group now includes ten participants – many with decades of experience in marine philanthropy – who share intelligence in developing projects to establish marine reserves and stop overfishing. To date, the collaborative has supported over 25 projects in all of the world’s oceans.

Oceans 5 focuses on results-oriented projects that reflect the highest priority of marine scientists.  It has helped establish and implement large marine reserves in places like the Seychelles, Cook Islands, Kiribati and in the Arctic regions of Russia and Canada. The group has also supported work to improve fisheries enforcement and compliance, including development of new policies and regulations in the United States, European Union and in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors serves as the fiscal sponsor and neutral home for the donor collaborative. A major benefit of using a fiscal sponsor such as RPA is that it can be an effective and efficient alternative to the often complex and lengthy process required to establish a 501(c)(3) organization. Moreover, it can substantially reduce the costs associated with establishing and maintaining governance, management and the operational infrastructure required while still achieving the charitable purposes of the project.

Some specific services that RPA provides Oceans 5 include:

  • Onboarding full-time and part-time staff
  • Ongoing employee management including salary adjustments, title changes, conflict resolution and termination
  • Advice on effective practices for hiring staff, independent contractors and other vendors
  • Manage all facets of the project’s grant administration to grantees
  • Monthly reports on funds received and disbursed
  • Financial reporting for grants, where necessary
  • Development and ongoing management of an annual operating budget
  • Maintenance of all files and records.
  • RPA assumes all legal and fiduciary responsibility for project activities
  • Review, due diligence and execution of all independent contractor and vendors agreements
  • Advice on developing and managing an annual operating budget
  • Work directly with the Project’s Advisory Committee to clarify roles and responsibilities

In the coming years, Oceans 5 expects to support new projects to create marine reserves in the Pacific and Arctic Oceans and the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas. It also plans to launch global efforts to protect sharks and further strengthen fisheries enforcement.

Photo: Limu Pools on Niue, courtesy of Niue Tourism

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