Developing World Fisheries

Sustainable Fisheries Foundation and its partner, Ecologists Without Borders (EcoWB), are helping fishermen and fishing organizations in developing countries that desire to have their fisheries certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).  The MSC is an international organization that has developed credible, science-based standards and guidelines for sustainable fishing and seafood traceability. Nearly 10% of the world’s fisheries have been certified by the MSC and currently enjoy the benefits that certification confers, including a willingness among consumers to support well-managed and socially and environmentally responsible fisheries.

Many fisheries in developing countries would like to obtain MSC certification, and may in fact meet MSC’s criteria, but lack basic information that would enable assessment of the fishery, associated fishing practices and management systems, and the targeted fish populations and habitat they rely upon.  MSC has developed a rational and systematic process, referred to as Fisheries Improvement Projects (FIPs), to obtaining the requisite information, so that aspiring fisheries are able to take the steps necessary to meet MSC standards and become certified.  FIPs activities include meeting with representatives of fisheries to ascertain their interests, needs, opportunities and constraints; compiling and analyzing available information on the fisheries and species harvested, and determining what additional information and/or reforms are necessary to meet MSC certification standards.

How EcoWB Can Help Global Fisheries Achieve Sustainability

EcoWB volunteers, referred to as Ecological Service Providers (ESPs), would play an important role in the pre-certification process.  ESPs assisting on FIPs will have expertise ranging from recent college coursework in fisheries to in-depth, relevant professional expertise.  We envision a need for fisheries scientists, managers, and economists who have undergone MSC’s Technical Consultant training as well as a cadre of more junior professionals that would assist with data collection and other basic tasks.  It will be important for ESPs assigned to a particular FIP to work closely with local fisheries representatives and other team members to ensure a successful project.

Putting EcoWB Ecological Service Providers to Work

EcoWB will facilitate ESP participation in FIPs by:

Implementing Fisheries Improvement Projects in Developing Countries

EcoWB will assist fisheries that wish to be certified but do not yet meet the MSC standard by:

How You Can Get Involved

  1. Sign up online as an ESP and/or send us email requesting additional details, and
  2. Attend one or both of the upcoming events sponsored by EcoWB, SFF, and MSC at the 2015 American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, to be held August 16-20, 2015 in Portland, Oregon: