Sales of MSC certified sustainable seafood to contribute to US$100 million ocean fund to end overfishing
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), an international non-profit on a mission to end overfishing by setting standards for sustainable fishing and supply chain assurance, has today announced an ambitious goal to mobilise US$100 million (AUD$150 million) to help safeguard the ocean and sustainable seafood supplies over the next decade.
The announcement marks a significant expansion of the MSC’s Ocean Stewardship Fund which aims to end overfishing.
Since 2018, the MSC has committed to allocate 5% of the income it generates from licensing the use of the MSC blue fish tick label on sales of MSC certified sustainable seafood to the Ocean Stewardship Fund.
Philanthropic organisations, businesses and governments are encouraged to contribute to the fund, which has already delivered more than 100 grants, including almost 40 in emerging economies. These funds assist a wide range of fisheries and invest in research and innovation to improve fishing practices on the water.
Beneficiaries have included Indonesian fishers adapting to the impacts of climate change on blue swimming crabs, South African fisheries reducing bird bycatch, and artisanal fishers in the Mediterranean trialling new technology to protect stingrays. A new project to assess the risks of climate change for wild-capture fisheries and help them to adapt in the future has also received funding.
The challenge facing the ocean is enormous. Consumption of seafood is rising rapidly whilst over a third of global fish stocks are being exploited at unsustainable levels. The pressures of feeding a burgeoning global population, combined with the detrimental effects of climate change demands stronger, urgent action.
Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the Marine Stewardship Council, said: “The Ocean Stewardship Fund has supported an impressive range of projects, including many innovative collaborations between fisheries and scientists. We are extremely grateful to our funders, partners and supporters who share our vision of a healthy thriving ocean. By mobilising US$100 million over ten years, we can support many more communities and businesses around the world which are reliant on the ocean for food, security, and livelihoods.”