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Working towards sustainability in Madagascar’s reef octopus fishery: a journey of improvement

by Rachel Long
Male Madagascan octopus fisher underwater wearing goggles with octopus and spear

Blue Ventures is a marine conservation organisation working with communities to rebuild tropical small scale fisheries. Find out how an MSC Global Fisheries Sustainability Fund grant is supporting their work with semi-nomadic seafaring communities in a southwest Madagascar octopus fishery.

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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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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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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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