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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What does Marine Stewardship Council certification mean?

The Marine Stewardship Council ecolabel.

Sam Wiley is the CEO of American family business Wiley’s Finest whose Alaskan Fish Oil sustainable supplements are all MSC certified. In this post he gives insider’s explanation of what certification means and why his products proudly carry the ecolabel. 

You may not have noticed it on our package, but the blue check mark on the front of every box is called the Marine Stewardship Council ecolabel. This is a prestigious and difficult to obtain certification: by our count (as of Feb 23rd 2014), only 27 fish oil supplements are MSC certified out of the thousands of different Fish Oil supplements sold worldwide.

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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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MSC as an agent of change in the global seafood trade

by Nicolas Guichoux
February 25, 2014
Nicolas Guichoux explains why seafood matters to him and why he's passionate about sustaining this commodity in a growing global seafood trade.

I grew up in Brittany, which is surrounded by the sea; half of France’s fish is caught and landed there, so where I’m from has certainly influenced me in my choices. Before I moved to the MSC, I was working as an export manager for a leading seafood processor in France, and one of my Swiss customers asked me to source some MSC certified hoki, which was my first interaction.

I found the concept really interesting. At the time the anchovy stock off the coast of France was collapsing. My cousin was a fisher in that fishery, so I knew of the threats to livelihoods and to the area, and thought: yes, we need a positive system to encourage sustainable management of fisheries.

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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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