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MSC announces £1 million Ocean Stewardship Fund

Published by FiskerForum, 01-11-2018 · info@fiskerforum.dk

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has announced a £1 million fund and initiative to support small scale fisheries and those in the Global South on their pathway to sustainability.

The MSC has been engaged with fisheries in the Global South since its inception and has built up a solid knowledge of the constraints these fisheries face to achieve a sustainable level of performance. The fund will also help create a more sustainable seafood market through research to overcome data and information gaps in fisheries management.  

The MSC works closely with the World Economic Forum’s Friends for Ocean Action, a group convened by the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thomson, and Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lövin, to build, scale-up and fast track practical solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the ocean.

The MSC aims to engage 20% of global fisheries in its programme by 2020, which recognises and rewards sustainable fishing practices. By 2030 it aims to have engaged over a third of global fisheries. This is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG14): to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.  

‘Achieving this target will require strategic engagement with fisheries in the global south. These fisheries contribute over 70% of global seafood production. Many are data poor and not operating at a level to achieve MSC certification. The Marine Stewardship Council’s £1 million Ocean Stewardship Fund is specifically targeted at helping these fisheries on their pathway to sustainability,’ said MSC chief executive Rupert Howes.

‘The MSC’s new Ocean Stewardship Fund builds on the experience and success of our earlier Global Fisheries Sustainability Fund which invested in small scale fishery improvements in a diverse range of eco-systems from the Coral Triangle to the oceans around Madagascar and Suriname. We have substantially increased the scale of the fund and will target investment to those fisheries engaged in a formal transition programme that will deliver measureable improvements in performance.’

Funding will be available to help applicant fisheries overcome obstacles to sustainability, to build capacity, knowledge, and address specific data needs identified through a formal MSC pre-assessment. Improvements delivered will contribute to meeting SDG 14.2, 14.4 and 14.7 – sustainably manage marine eco-systems, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing. 

Detailed planning of the governance and application arrangements for the fund are underway, and full details will be announced in early 2019. The MSC will grow the fund over time with contributions from foundations, businesses and individuals who share the organisation’s vision of healthy and productive oceans where seafood supplies are safeguarded for this and future generations.

Source: MSC

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