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Are some types of fishing gear more sustainable than others?

by Shaun McLennan
Shaun McLennan explains why there’s no simple way to differentiate between the sustainability of various fishing gear types and methods.
Trawl fishing boat ©1001slide/iStock

Before joining the MSC in February 2016, I spent 3 and a bit years working for the UK government as fishery manager. One of my roles was to assess the impacts that different fishing techniques have on protected marine environments. As with many elements of fisheries management, the answer to the question: “Which fishing method is most environmentally-sound?” isn’t as simple as it may seem.

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Overfishing is as big a threat to humanity as it is to our oceans

by Dermot O’Gorman
WWF Australia CEO says John West Australia commitment to sustainable tuna will drive fishery reform.
Fishermen at work

There has never been a more urgent time for seafood businesses and fishing nations to make a commitment to sustainability. The world’s oceans are in trouble, with marine life plummeting and the people who are dependent on the sea for income and food left increasingly vulnerable. Data shows populations of fish and other marine vertebrates, including marine mammals, reptiles and birds have halved since 1970.

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Study says global fish catch is higher than reported, but there is hope

David Agnew, MSC Director of Science and Standards, responds to a report about global fish catch.
Swirl of fish

I cannot over emphasise the importance of our oceans. Not only do they provide a vital source of protein, a playground for recreation and our first line of defence against climate change, it is estimated that some one billion people rely on the oceans for their livelihood.

A new analysis of global fish catch published this week by scientists at the University of British Colombia serves as a timely reminder of the contribution that fishing makes to food security and the potential it has to damage marine ecosystems if not managed effectively.

The findings make a strong case for the need for sustainability and good management of our oceans resources. Something that the MSC program is tackling across the world.

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Lobster: Global delicacy and sustainable Canadian staple

by Celine Rouzaud
Celine Rouzaud explores the history of a sustainable delicacy: Canadian lobster.
Closeup of lobster, Gaspésie lobster fishery Gaspesie

My belly full from one too many meat-centric dinners I find myself thinking the Italians are onto something with their seafood-focused Christmas meals. I live in Canada, blessed by three oceans and millions of lakes, I work for the MSC… So why, oh why do I persist with my views that a holiday meal must include turkey or ham? Time to buck tradition!

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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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