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Bycatch in Brazil: Collaborating for more sustainable fishing

by Fanny Vessaz
MSC Scholarship recipient Fanny Vessaz on collaborating with fisheries to deal with bycatch issues.
Brazilian beach with fishermen, small boat and birds in the sky

Fanny Vessaz is an MSc graduate of marine biodiversity and conservation from the Federal University of Paraná in Brazil. She was a recipient of one of our MSC scholarship program grants in 2014. Her research involved assessing bycatch reduction devices in the southern Brazilian artisanal seabob shrimp trawl fishery. Here she reports on the importance of collaboration and why bycatch is a complex topic where fishing communities’ voices need to be heard.

Brazil is a highly diverse country, and its fisheries are similarly varied. Even among small-scale shrimp fisheries, the methods used can differ drastically, but regulations covering them don’t. Over the course of this year, I have been exploring the dynamics of a small-scale shrimp trawl fishery in southern Brazil and examining the issue of bycatch (the unintentional catching of marine animals that are not a fishery’s target species).

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How small islands make a big impact with sustainable seafood

by Rupert Howes
Our chief executive Rupert Howes discusses the huge impact of small island developing nations on the sustainable seafood market.
PNA tuna fishery - Fisherman looks out from the bridge of vessel

Just before Christmas 2011, an announcement was made that many in the fishing industry had been eagerly awaiting.  After two years of rigorous assessment against the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) Fisheries Standard, one of the world’s largest tuna fisheries, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) Western and Central Pacific skipjack fishery, achieved certification.

Operating off eight small island nations in the Pacific Ocean, the fishery provides 50% of the world’s total skipjack, the type of tuna which often ends up in sandwiches and salads.
The fishery’s reach extends to Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

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Join our challenge: Let’s make overfishing history

by Richard Leggatt
MSC fundraising director Richard Leggatt talks about the importance of charitable support and how we can help the oceans and make overfishing history.
Let's make overfishing history

The health of global fisheries is important for all of us. Declining fish stocks threaten global food security, the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people, as well as the health of marine ecosystems.

I see the MSC as playing a unique part in a movement working to reverse this decline. Our vision is of oceans teeming with life and marine resources safeguarded for this and future generations.

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Sustaining the fishing culture of the Philippines

by Kelvin Ng
MSC Asia-Pacific director Kelvin Ng talks about fishing culture and issues surrounding sustainable fishing in the Philippines.
Filipino fishermen hauling their fishing net to shore.

While preparing for the Responsible Business Forum in Philippines, I began reading up on the rich history of Filipino culture. What particularly caught my attention, were the mythical stories about the “Serinas” and “Siyokoy.” These characters are the equivalent of mermaids and mermen in Filipino culture and are known as the “bantay tubig” or Guardians of Water.

As I read about these guardians, I started to reflect about how our work at the MSC relates to these mythical figures. We set the standards for sustainable fishing and educate people through our programs about responsible seafood choices and the importance of good fishing practices. We do all of this so that we can see the oceans teeming with life and our seafood supplies safeguarded.

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MSC Inside Story: Developing World Program

Cassie Leisk talks about the latest MSC film and how her team work with developing world fisheries to improve resource management and enhance welfare.
Three people on a small boat off with video camera, of the coast of the Gambia

Did you know the MSC has a dedicated developing world program? Recently the program came to the forefront of the organisation’s work with the production of its film Our Fisheries, our Future. The film follows three developing world fisheries as they discuss the importance of sustainability and how the MSC program is helping them improve the management of their resource, access to markets and enhance their economic welfare. The fisheries features lessons learned from a range of stakeholders involved with the fisheries, where they talk about the benefits and challenges of sustainability and MSC certification.

We asked engagement manager, Cassie Leisk about the making of the film.

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