MSC launches fund for developing fisheries

THE Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) launched a new global fund today, for research that assists small scale and developing world fisheries achieve MSC certification.
The Global Fisheries Sustainability Fund has an initial allocation of £400,000, split over two years, and reflects the MSC’s commitment to increase the accessibility of its programme to more fisheries around the world.
‘MSC’s vision is of the world’s oceans teeming with life and seafood supplies safeguarded for this and future generations,’ said Rupert Howes, chief executive of the Marine Stewardship Council.
‘Fifteen years on since the MSC was launched, more than 250 fisheries are certified to the MSC’s standard and are demonstrating their leadership in managing our precious ocean resources sustainably.
‘However, for many fisheries, achieving the scientific, independently verified performance required for MSC certification can be a significant challenge.
‘We have established this fund to support projects that will address the knowledge and capacity obstacles that fisheries face in gaining certification.
‘The fund is specifically aimed at increasing the accessibility of the MSC programme for more of the world’s fisheries by working to reduce barriers fisheries face in achieving the MSC standard.’
The MSC invites applications that will deliver scientific research that address information, technology and management gaps and barriers that fisheries encounter in achieving the MSC standard, and that build the capacity of personnel to assist small scale and developing world fisheries in their improvements and gaining certification.
The fund is open to academic institutions, independent researchers, fisheries, governments and non-governmental organisations.
It is hoped that further allocations will be made in future years. MSC will actively seek additional, third party contributions to enhance the overall scale of the fund and hence potential grants available to applicants.
‘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,’ said Howes.
The deadline for applications for 2015 is October 31, with the successful applicants announced towards the end of the year.