Federpesca-MSC: agreement for a sustainable Mediterranean
The collaboration is modelled on the BluFish project, involving fishing operators
28, Sep 2023
The National Federation of Fishing Companies (Federpesca) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable fishing, today launch a collaboration which, thanks to a participatory approach involving fishing operators, aims to promote the environmental, social and economic sustainability of Italian fishing activities.
"In a Mediterranean where 71% of the fish populations for which scientific data are available are exploited beyond the maximum biological limit, this collaboration aims to involve the greatest number of fishing activities to bring them closer to the level of best practices required by the MSC Standard for sustainable fishing, the most rigorous international scientific standard in the world for sustainable fishing", reads a note from Federpesca. The activities envisaged by the collaboration will be financed by Federpesca and MSC through the Ocean Stewardship Fund, the fund created by MSC to support the sustainability of fishing activities globally.
The collaboration is modeled on the BluFish project, carried out by MSC since 2018 to accompany Italian fishing activities along a sustainability path structured in four fundamental stages: a mapping of fishing activities, a pre-evaluation of selected activities to evaluate areas of strengths and weaknesses, developing and implementing an action plan. An exemplary case of this approach is the work carried out with the Molfetta white shrimp fishery in Puglia (Gsa 18) which, thanks to the coordination of Gal Ponte Lama and the participation of the Coispa research institute and Federpesca, started the implementation of concrete improvements that will help them improve some aspects of fishing, paving the way towards sustainability and potentially bringing them closer to achieving sustainable fishing certification according to the MSC Standard for Sustainable Fishing. These improvements include an important milestone: the creation of spaces for international discussion with the General Fisheries Commission in the Mediterranean (CGPM) and the other countries (Albania, Croatia and Montenegro) involved in fishing for this shared resource.
In the first phase of the project, the first fish species subject to pre-evaluation will be long-winged tuna in Sicily (Gsa 19) and small pelagics (sardines and anchovies) in the Adriatic (Gsa 17 and 18). The update of the pre-assessment of the white shrimp fishery in Puglia, carried out in 2020, will also be conducted to update it to the latest requirements of version 3 of the MSC Standard published in 2022. Based on the results of the pre-assessments, they will be developed and implemented action plans that, through concrete improvements, will strengthen the sustainability of these activities. In a second phase, the involvement of other fish and marine species is expected.