MSC welcomes marine focus for world environment day –

MSC welcomes marine focus for world environment day Published:  04 June, 2004

The state of the worlds’ oceans and fisheries is one of the most pressing

environmental concerns of our time. Only last month, WWF, the MSC’s

founding father, issued a report warning that if current fishing trends

continue, the world’s surviving cod stocks could disappear in 15 years.

However, there is still time to prevent the kind of catastrophe which

occurred when Newfoundland cod collapsed in Canada’s Grand Banks in the

early 1990’s.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is a global charity working to protect

the future of fish stocks. Fisheries that meet an environmental standard

set by the MSC are rewarded with a blue eco-label that identifies the best

environmental choice in seafood to consumers.

World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly

in 1972 and is the principal vehicle by which the United Nations encourages

environmental action. By choosing the theme ‘Wanted! Seas and Oceans Dead or

Alive’, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is helping to

highlight the state of the worlds’ oceans.

HRH The Prince of Wales, a long term supporter of the MSC programme, showed

his continued concern about the plight of the world’s fish stocks by calling

upon guests at a MSC Fundraising event held earlier this year to do more to

encourage sustainable fishing. He stated: –

‘I suspect no-one here will need any convincing of the benefits of fish,

from the open sea, as the healthiest of foods. But it’s all too easy to

forget that those benefits are ultimately dependent on the welfare of a

wild, natural resource, just as they were a thousand years ago. Sadly, the

welfare of fish stocks can no longer be left to Nature.’

The MSC is promoting sustainable fishing at the Herefordshire World

Environment Day celebrations on 9th June. The event, which is organised by

Herefordshire Council, hopes to highlight the link between the land and the

sea and draw attention to the marine issues within and beyond the UK.

World Oceans Day is being celebrated at the beginning of June also. The MSC

will be supporting World Oceans Day activities at the Silver Dolphin Marine

Conservation and Diving Centre in Cornwall. Indeed, one of the ten

fisheries certified to the MSC environmental standard is the South West

mackerel handline fishery based in Newlyn, Cornwall. David Ball, founder of

the Silver Dolphin Marine Conservation and Diving centre, says: –

‘We find that education and raising awareness is the most important part of

our work. Most people do not realise what goes on under the water in terms

of the state of the fish stocks or damage done to other marine life’.