India has special reason this time to celebrate the World Fisheries Day on November 21, as it received international fund for the promotion of sustainable fishing practices.
The London based Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), an international non-profit organization, has awarded £43,373 (Rs 37,25,740) fund for promoting sustainable practices in the country’s fisheries sector.
The MSC, which grants blue label certification to the fishery across the world and helps create more sustainable seafood market, awarded the fund to the World Wildlife Fund-India to develop management plans for bait and tuna fishery with the technical support of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute.
WWF-India and the CMFRI will create fishery management and action plans to ensure the sustainability of both baitfish and tuna fisheries in Lakshadweep, a region which depends on fishing for income and as a food source.
Besides India, the Council also awarded the fund pre-assessment and action plan development for octopus fisheries in Senegal, improvement action plan for stone crab fishing in Chile, stock assessment for baitfish fisheries in Indonesia, and crayfish project in China.
In all, the MSC has granted a total funds £200,000 to five projects that would aid small scale and Developing World fisheries in achieving sustainability. The award is part of the MSC’s Global Fisheries Sustainability Fund (GFSF) that was established in 2015 in recognition of the difficulty that these fisheries have in reaching the MSC Standard.
According to Vinod Malayilethu, senior coordinator, Marine Conservation Programme, WWF-India, more than 300 fisheries in 34 countries are certified to the MSC’s Standard. These fisheries have a combined annual seafood production of almost 10 million metric tonnes, representing 12 per cent of annual global marine catch. Around 25,000 seafood products worldwide carry the MSC label and this includes the Ashtamudi Lake short-neck clam fisheries developed by CMFRI, which is the first MSC certified fisheries in India.