CMFRI eyeing MSC certification for Indian fisheries

Officials in India are looking seriously into pursuing sustainability certification from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for up to 10 of the countries fisheries.

At a seminar on 5 April organized by India’s Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) attended by officials from the MSC and the World Wildlife Fund, as well as marine scientists, seafood exporters, fishermen, and retailers met to discuss the formation of fishery improvement projects (FIPs), with the goal of eventually pursuing MSC certification.

Currently, only one fishery in India holds MSC certification – the short-necked clam fishery Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam, Kerala State. At the meeting, an additional 10 fisheries were identified that could meet MSC standards, CMFRI official K V A Khadar told SeafoodSource.

Khadar said that there are various parameters MSC requires, including assessments proving the sustainability of stocks, a minimization of ecosystem impacts, and effective management, which will take work to achieve. During the meeting, it was agreed that the next step in the process is to ensure all stakeholders in the chosen fisheries are unanimous in their desire to do the work required to implement FIPs and eventuallyachieve MSC certification, Khadar said.

According to MSC Head for Developing World Programs Yemi Oloruntuyi, 28 percent of fisheries are overexploited globally and its certification helps to conserve marine resources for future generations. Speaking during the meeting, Oloruntuyi said sustainability bona fides such as the eco-label MSC provides are crucial to increasing accessing increasingly fickle overseas markets.

“Today, seafood products that are not produced using sustainable way are losing demand from foreign clients, whereas sustainability provides [a] competitive advantage, creating opportunity for well-managed fisheries,” Oloruntuyi said.

Explaining on how this will help India, CMFRI principal scientist Sunil Mohammed said the certification would help boost India’s share of seafood exports, currently at four percent of the global total. 

“It will help the fishery fetch a well-accepted markets in European and North African countries,” Mohammed said.

An exclusive look at the 10 fisheries in possible pursuit of MSC certification is available for SeafoodSource Premium members, and can be found here:


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