MSC on expanding program accessibility, new fund
Many small scale and developing world fisheries need assistance when vying for certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) – that’s why MSC decided to create a new global fund aimed specifically at enhancing accessibility to its certification program.
Launched today (14 July), the Global Fisheries Sustainability Fund seeks to support critical fishery science research that both strengthens and informs the world’s capacity for helping fisheries with limited resources achieve certification. Over the course of two years, the fund will deploy EUR 400,000 (USD 440,122) to projects that address and attempt to remedy gaps in information, technology and management encountered by fisheries as they make a bid for the MSC Standard.
According to Dr. Oluyemisi Oloruntuyi, Program Manager for Developing World Fisheries for MSC, the barriers that smaller fisheries face on their journey to sustainability certification are often numerous and difficult to overcome.
“There are a range of challenges in meeting the high standards required by the MSC. Some of the challenges include lack of information to demonstrate status of stocks or lack of information to adequately support management. Other challenges include inadequate management systems to ensure fisheries are well managed,” Oloruntuyi told SeafoodSource.
However, for the sake of the overall health of the world’s oceans, it’s imperative that developing fisheries become certified, Oloruntuyi explained.
“Globally, small scale and developing world fisheries make a substantive contribution to world fish production and trade, and support the livelihoods and food security of millions of people,” said Oloruntuyi.
Academic institutions, independent researchers, fisheries, governments and non-governmental organizations are all encouraged to apply to the fund, which is itself currently footed by MSC’s self-generated revenue – meaning income from logo licensing approved by the Board of Trustees, Oloruntuyi said. Moving forward, MSC will also be looking to third party contributions to further flesh out the scope of the fund.
“This investment will not only help more fisheries to achieve their aspirations of sustainable ecosystem-based fisheries management, it will also help to secure seafood supplies and fishing based economies for future generations,” remarked Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the Marine Stewardship Council, in a prepared statement.
The deadline for the first round of applications is 31 October; awardees will be notified and announced toward the end of 2015. All interested parties should contract the MSC via [email protected] to request guidance and an application form, which should be submitted in English.