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India’s Ashtamudi clam fishery: Fishing for future generations

Image of Handful of freshly caught clams, Ashtamudi fishery, India

The Ashtamudi clam fishery in southern India entered assessment to the MSC standard in 2013. As part of the assessment, the independent auditors need to visit the fishery, so we joined them to take a look.

We travelled to Kollam, a vibrant, colourful town three hours drive from Cochin, the capital of Kerala. We navigated the twists and turns of Kollam’s coconut tree-lined streets, filled with children on their way to school and women with pots balanced delicately on their heads, and arrived at the shore where we boarded the boat to the site of the fishery.

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Fish for good in the developing world

Image of sole fishers in the Gambia bring catch to beach

By Rupert Howes, MSC chief executive. Image © NASCOM.

Our oceans make up 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, contain 80 percent of all biodiversity, drive global weather systems and have provided a wonderful and diverse bounty of seafood for millennia. Current harvests deliver nearly one-fifth of total human protein needs. Millions of livelihoods also depend upon this last great global industry harvesting a wild resource for food.

However, global fish stocks and our oceans are in trouble. Over the past five decades, production has increased fivefold as seafood consumption has outpaced global population growth. With the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN indicating that nearly 85 percent of assessed stocks are already either fully or over exploited or depleted, there is little room for further growth in production to meet growing demand, let alone the additional demands of an estimated two billion extra people by 2050.

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Maldives pole and line: a personal tale of sustainable tuna

Maldives pole and line tuna fishers by Emily Howgate

From Scotland to Switzerland, European families regularly enjoy tuna caught in the Maldives, hooked by the centuries-old fishing method of pole and line. In the UK, for example, most of the tinned MSC certified tuna you find in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s is Maldivian skipjack. In the Maldives, fishing is not just an industry, it’s a way of life. After tourism, tuna is the country’s major source of income and its primary export.

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Welcome to the Marine Stewardship Council’s global blog

Maldives pole and line skipjack tuna fishers

Welcome to our new blog from the Marine Stewardship Council where we will explore our vision to safeguard seafood supplies for this and future generations. With your support for our ecolabel and fishery certification program we can make that vision a reality.

We will use this blog to explain why seafood matters. We will explain our sometimes complex standards and principles; we will introduce you to some of the people who work hard behind the scenes at MSC; we will offer perspectives on the urgent issues facing our oceans; we will explore species we all love, such as beautiful tuna that cruise the oceans up to 55 miles an hour, bring you photoessays from our fisheries and gorgeous picture galleries from the deep, and of course we will give you tasty suggestions for all the MSC labelled fish you can eat.

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