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Year review: the top five moments at the MSC in 2016

by Joanna Jones
Top five MSC moments of 2016
Páll Hreinn Pálsson, fisherman with Visir, Iceland

Year reviews… either you love them or you hate them, but there’s no way around them come mid-December. Joanna Jones, marine lover and intern at the MSC, looks at the past twelve months and picks her top five MSC moments.

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Improving global small-scale fisheries (FIPs) towards the MSC’s sustainable standard

by Lucy Anderson
Dr Lucy Anderson, Science Communications Manager at the MSC, investigates the rising interest in FIPs and what this means for the developing world.
Fisherman in Ashtamudi using a hand dredge to harvest clams

paper recently published in the journal Science drew attention to the rising interest in Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), initiatives through which a number of stakeholders collaborate to drive improvements in the sustainability of a fishery’s practices. Many FIPs are established in small-scale and developing world fisheries. These fisheries provide a vital source of income for over 90% of the world’s fishers, but often lack the funding and detailed evidence required to achieve full certification.

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Africa’s fisheries and their way to sustainability

by Dr Amadou Tall
Q&A with Dr Amadou Tall: Africa's fishing industry and its sustainable future.
Developing world program octopus in a bucket female fishers

Dr Amadou Tall is a former member of the MSC’s Technical Advisory Board. His vision is to see the MSC boost its presence in Africa and other developing regions as he believes there is now a political will to manage such resources responsibly.

How would you describe your time on the MSC Technical Advisory Board?

One of the first things I learnt on the Technical Advisory Board (TAB) was that there are lots of acronyms [laughs]. At a later stage I contributed along with colleagues to the MSC Chain of Custody Standard, including DNA testing. I also worked on the question of how to certify fisheries in Africa, where there are many artisanal fisheries. During my tenure I’ve had many proud moments. However, the highlights for me will be when we concluded the MSC Chain of Custody Standard review and when the MSC and the African Union InterAfrican Bureau of Animal Resources decided to work together.

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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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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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