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Recent Report shows Accelerated growth in the Sustainable Seafood Supply Chain

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Fish Counter by Christine Mcintosh via flickr

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) today published its 2015-16 Annual Report, highlighting market engagement and growth in MSC certified fisheries and supply chain, as MSC certified catch nears 10 million tonnes.

The report, from sustainable fishers to seafood lovers, showcases the organisations and individuals driving change from ocean to plate.

The volume of MSC certified catch has increased by six percent since 2014-15, while the MSC certified supply chain has climbed 16% over the same period. Between April 2015 and March 2016, the number of processors, restaurants and caterers with MSC Chain of Custody grew from 2,879 to 3,334 companies, operating in 37,121 sites across 82 countries. More than 20,000 products now carry the blue MSC label and can be traced back to fisheries which meet the MSC’s world-class standard for sustainable fishing.

“Accelerated growth in the MSC certified supply chain, and more MSC labelled products, demonstrate a growing demand for traceable, sustainable seafood,” says MSC CEO, Rupert Howes.

More retailers and brands are choosing to use the MSC label to communicate their commitment to sustainability.

“Their leadership is helping to drive a chain reaction, from ocean to plate. From certified fishers to seafood consumers, everyone plays a vital part in ensuring that our oceans are thriving for generations to come.”

A growing market

The MSC’s report highlights just some of the commitments made by leading retailers. They include Lidl Germany’s extended range of MSC labelled products, along with initiatives from Sainsbury’s, Carrefour, Migros, Coles and Aeon. The MSC’s 2016 consumer study also shows that sustainability is a key driver for seafood purchase, and consumers are prepared to change shopping habits to protect the oceans.

“The MSC provides a mechanism that serves to galvanize a diverse community of change-makers which is driving real and lasting impacts on the water. Thanks to our partners whose dedication is contributing to healthy oceans, now and for the future,” adds Mr Howes.

Impact on the water

MSC certified fisheries caught more than 9.3 million metric tonnes of seafood in 2015-16*, representing almost 10% of the total global wild caught seafood by volume. MSC data shows that 83% (2.6 million tonnes) of seafood caught in the Northeast Pacific and 40% (3 million tonnes) of wild catch in the Northeast Atlantic is now MSC certified. As of 31 March 2016, 286 fisheries were MSC certified.

There were 38 newly certified fisheries in 2015-16 including some significant firsts: the Spanish Asturian fishing guilds became the first octopus fishery to gain MSC certification, while the China Southern Fishing Company was the first MSC certified tuna fishery in China. Canada also realised a major milestone with certification of the country’s first Atlantic cod stock. Certification of the 3Ps cod fishery marks a new chapter in the history of cod in Canada.

Alaska Pollock – one of only 10 fisheries worldwide to have been certified three times – along with African hake, Antarctic krill and Norway’s North East Arctic cod and haddock fishery were recertified in 2015. All over the world, MSC certified fisheries are delivering measurable, positive impacts in our oceans, from reducing bycatch to advancing scientific understanding of marine environments. MSC data show that over the course of their certification, 94% of certified fisheries are required to make at least one improvement to maintain their certificate.

“Increasing accessibility of the MSC program to developing world and small-scale fisheries is also critical to achieving our mission,” says Mr Howes. “The MSC’s Global Fisheries Sustainability Fund, along with new tools and initiatives are aimed are helping more fisheries take their first steps on the road to environmental improvements.”

Tuna: a global resource

The report also highlights major tuna developments. The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission’s decision to adopt harvest control rules for skipjack tuna was a ground-breaking moment for tuna fisheries globally. The proposal came from the Maldives – the first country in the region to achieve MSC certification for its pole and line tuna fishery. It is hoped that this leadership will pave the way for increased collaboration in the management of other tuna stocks.
Growing demand for MSC certified tuna – which now represents 16% of the global tuna catch – is also reflected in John West Australia’s bold step to overhaul its supply chain to bring the country the world’s largest offering of MSC labelled canned tuna. Today, 97% of the company’s supply comes from the MSC certified PNA tuna fishery, which this year achieved certification of its yellowfin catch, accounting for half of all yellowfin caught within PNA waters.

Read the full annual report in PDF online

Environment

Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage

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water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Environment

Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism

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When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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