INDIA receives MSC Fund for Promoting Sustainable Fishing Practices

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which grants blue level certification to sustainable fishing practices all over the world, has awarded Rs. 3,725,740 to World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-India to develop management plans for bait and tuna fishery in the country with the technical support of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). This was in view of the World Fisheries Day observed on 21st November, for promoting sustainable practices in the country’s fisheries sector.

WWF- India and the CMFRI will create fishery management and action plans to ensure the sustainability of baitfish and tuna fisheries in Lakshadweep, a region which depends on fishing for income and as a food source.

Besides India, this year the Council has awarded the fund for the pre-assessment and action plan development for octopus fisheries in Senegal, improvement action plan for stone crab fishing in Chile, stock assessment for baitfish fisheries in Indonesia, and crayfish project in China. All these projects would aid small scale and developing world fisheries in achieving sustainability. The award is part id the MSC’s Global Fisheries Sustainability Fund (GFSF) that was established in 2015. In 2017, a total of 43 applications from different countries were received. In India, WWF-India was one of the organizations that won funding from the GFSF. In 2017, MSC became the first global seafood certification to achieve GSSI (Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative) recognition.

Announcing the award, the MSC’s Science & Standards Director, David Agnew said: “I am very much impressed with the caliber of proposals that we received this year and pleased to see that volume is increasing. Projects like these that address the gaps faced by small scale and developing world fisheries, are critically important to the sustainability of the industry worldwide. We are already seeing progress from the projects we funded last year and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for this year’s awardees.”Vinod Malayilethu, (Senior Coordinator, Marine Conservation Programme) WWF-India said: “Pole and Line Skipjack tuna fishing is in the North Western India Ocean is a major source of livelihood for fishers in the from the MSC as it will greatly help in addressing the gaps identified during the MSC pre-assessment process and help the fishery to become MSC certified in the future.”

More than 300 fisheries in 34 countries are certified to the MSC’s standard. These fisheries have a combined annual seafood production of almost 10 million metric tonnes, representing 12% of annual global marine catch.

While granting blue label certification on a seafood product, the MSC ensures that the fish is obtained from a wild-catch fishery which has been independently certified to the MSC’s science-based standard for environmentally sustainable fishing, and it is fully traceable to a sustainable source.

More than 25,000 seafood products worldwide carry the MSC label. 12% of global marine wild catch is MSC certified, a figure that has doubled since 2010. This includes the Ashtamudi Lake Short-neck clam fisheries which is the first and the only one MSC Certified fishery in India, developed by CMFRI.


The CMFRI and the MSC has forged a tie up with a view to undertake a gap analysis and identifying area to improve for receiving MSC certification for different Indian fisheries in near future. The CMFRI has already completed a Fishery Mapping initiative for several Indian fisheries. The fisheries were selected for mapping on the basis of the discussions with MPEDA, WWF, MSC & Seafood exporters. Ten of the fisheries were selected for deeper mapping work. CMFRI provided the entire technical backup to support the mapping exercise. The next phase of work will be for the fisheries to undertake pre-assessments and as necessary develop improvement action plans to address any gaps identified.


Source: Fishing Chimes

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