Marine Stewardship Council Announces Sustainability Fund Recipients

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No escape by Derek Keats via Flickr

Funding has been awarded to six organisations by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). This enables the organisations to delivery projects to support small scale and developing world fisheries to achieve MSC certification.

Blue Ventures, Anchud Mud Crab Productivity Committee, WWF Japan, Masyarakat Dan Perikanan Indonesia Foundation, WWF Guianas, and WWF Coral Triangle Program will receive a total of £212,500.

The six projects will deliver critical scientific research addressing information, technology and management gaps and build capacity of personnel to assist small scale and developing world fisheries. 33 applications were received, out of which six were chosen to receive funding.

Announcing the funding award, the MSC’s Science & Standards Director, David Agnew, said: “We had some excellent proposals for funding. The winning projects particularly fit in with the objective of the fund– to deliver critical scientific research that addresses information, technology and management gaps and barriers that fisheries encounter in achieving the MSC Standard.”

For many small scale and developing world fisheries, achieving the high standard required for MSC certification can be a significant challenge.

Recognising this challenge, two years ago (in March 2014), the MSC Board proposed the need for an official fund to support critical fisheries science and to assist small scale or developing world fisheries. The Global Fisheries Sustainability Fund (GFSF) was launched in July 2015 with an initial £400,000, split over two years.

Momo Kochen Director of Programs and Science at Masyarakat Dan Perikanan Indonesia Foundation said: “Indonesia is one of the leading producers of wild capture fish in the world. We are passionate about sustainable fishing because we know that many people depend on it for their livelihoods. This money will make a real difference in assessing the risks associated with tuna supply chains in this country.”

Alasdair Harris, CEO of Blue ventures said:

“We’ve been working with the MSC to implement a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in Madagascar. We hope this grant goes a long way to build the octopus fishery’s capacity to enter the MSC program.”

I am delighted to receive this funding from the MSC.

Geoffrey Muldoon, Senior Manager with WWF’s Coral Triangle Program said: “WWF in the Coral Triangle is committed to working with the MSC to make the program more accessible to fisheries in the developing world. With this funding from the MSC, we are excited to be able to build in-country expertise to deliver cost-effective and robustly designed fishery improvement projects to achieve that goal.”

About the recipients

WWF Coral Triangle Program will use its grant for a capacity building programme to train in-country experts so they can carry out FIP assessments and MSC pre-assessments in Vietnam and Indonesia.

Masyarakat Dan Perikanan Indonesia Foundation will prepare a risk assessment of tuna supply chains in Indonesia which will provide much-needed information on supply chain structure in that region.

WWF Guianas will apply data limited assessment and management methodologies to the Suriname coastal artisanal fishery, and will contribute to the MSC’s wider initiative that will allow data limited fisheries to demonstrate that their sustainability meets the MSC requirements.

The Anchud Mud Crab fishery will use its grant to understand the likely barriers to certification of this developing world artisanal fishery, in a region which has many such fisheries.

WWF Japan will investigate the potential for improvements in the small scale Manila clam fisheries in the Yellow Sea Ecoregion, which could lead to major environmental benefits in this globally important wetland.

Blue Ventures will implement FIP improvement activities in the Madagascar octopus fishery, and explore application of data limited assessment and management methods to these types of fisheries.

Applications for 2017/18 will be announced later this year (2016). The fund is open to academic institutions, independent researchers, fisheries, governments and non-governmental organisations. The MSC would like to encourage contributions from organisations to enhance the overall scale and reach of the fund.