By Christine Blank, SeafoodSource contributing editor
Published on Thursday, March 27 2014
A new organization to boost efficiencies and sustainability in Southeast Asia fisheries will be established with the help of a USD 100,000 (EUR 72,648) grant.
San Francisco, Calif.-based Give2Asia partnered with the David & Lucile Packard Foundation and Our Source Consultancy to provide the initial grant that will establish the Marine Change Enterprise (MCE) organization.
MCE will analyze the current state of Asia’s fishing industry and the research will be used to improve the efficiency of the supply chain between small to medium-sized regional fishing operations and Southeast Asian markets, creating sustainable fishing practices that are also economically viable.
Improving efficiencies and sustainability in Asia’s fisheries is desperately needed because the Asian seafood sector has grown so quickly, according to Give2Asia. The Asia Pacific region produces an estimated 90 percent of the world’s farmed seafood and more than half of global wild seafood, Give2Asia noted.
“Because of the enormous stress being put on small to medium-sized fishing fleets to produce fish, you have irregularities in the fishing stocks and that obviously impacts the local economy,” John Oronte, marketing and development director for Give2Asia, told SeafoodSource. “Improving efficiencies — including the way that the fish are stored, cleaned, and shipped — would raise the standard of local communities. It would strengthen the impact of the fisheries and make them more sustainable.”
Currently, 30 percent of all fish caught in Asia is wasted before it even makes it to the marketplace, according to Andrew Bassford, the founder of MCE. Bassford was the director of the Dutch sustainable seafood brand Fishes, and founded Our Source Consultancy to reduce poverty through sustainability. Bassford also established the Pole and Line Foundation, which develops sustainable fisheries through supply chain development.
“If the small to medium-size fleets that dominate Asia can improve the efficiency of their operations, it will improve the supply chain as a whole,” Bassford said.