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Help us continue our vital work
See a few examples below of the work we've been doing worldwide to move the seafood market to a more sustainable basis.
More than half of the world's seafood comes from developing countries yet often these countries lack the data that is vital to assessing fish stocks. Working in partnership with WWF, the Ben Tre clam fishery in Vietnam joined six other fisheries helping the MSC to develop a new assessment tool to audit data-deficient fisheries. Their work opened MSC certification to data deficient fisheries around the world. Ben Tre clams were MSC certified in 2009 and the certification has had tangible benefits to the fishers. Clams from Ben Tre are sold across Europe, the US, Japan and China and the MSC label has resulted in a 65% price premium to the fishers. Part of this additional profit is being used for a social welfare fund, and another part is given to the commune to use for infrastructure development.
When the MSC started working with McDonald's over five years ago, some of their source fisheries were MSC certified, but others weren't. Rather than walk away from their supply fisheries, McDonald's supported improvements in all their fisheries. One example was the eastern Baltic cod fishery. Cod stocks in the eastern Baltic sea had suffered from years of illegal fishing. By working with their suppliers and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to improve stocks and support treaties that eliminated illegal fishing, McDonald's helped the stocks to recover to sustainable levels. In April 2011 the fishery was MSC certified allowing for every Filet-O-Fish in Europe to bear the blue ecolabel from October the same year. Following the success of MSC certification in Europe, McDonald's USA followed Europe's lead in January 2013 offering Filet-O-Fish sandwiches with the MSC ecolabel to their customers.
Following the success of Hugh's Fish Fight and a long-running campaign by Greenpeace, Maldivian pole and line-caught tuna is probably one of the most famous sustainable fisheries in the world. But the low-impact fishing method is only part of the sustainability story, the Maldives are only one country among many fishing from the same tuna stock. The Maldives have worked hard with the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and WWF, playing an integral role in setting new management requirements that will affect all of the IOTC countries fishing for skipjack tuna. In 2012 the fishery gained its MSC certification. By committing to new management requirements and further improvements, they will ensure that MSC certified Maldives pole and line tuna remains an icon of sustainability.
The MSC's Fish and Kids project was founded in 2005. The aim was to ensure that the fish on school menus comes from MSC certified sources and educate pupils about making sustainable seafood choices. One of the first local authorities to sign up was London's Tower Hamlets (pictured). Now eight years old, the project has reached over 4,000 primary schools, a quarter of all primaries in England and over 800,000 children. It has also resulted in spin-off projects in Sweden, France and Singapore. www.fishandkids.org offers teachers curriculum-linked lesson plans, games and activities, some of which are also available on the Guardian Teacher Network.