Ocean Stewardship Fund

The Ocean Stewardship Fund aims to increase the number of sustainable fisheries around the world.

More than £650,000 has been dedicated to 15 fisheries and projects around the world through the Ocean Stewardship Fund in 2020.

Grants focused on reducing impacts to threatened species and tackling abandoned fishing gear, known as 'ghost gear'.

Applications for 2021 will open in Autumn 2020.

We launched the Ocean Stewardship Fund to accelerate progress in sustainable fishing.  The MSC’s work has grown rapidly since our founding in 1997. More consumers than ever are making sustainable choices and looking for the blue label. But we have a long way to go to fulfill our mission of helping to secure our planet’s seafood for future generations. That’s why we are re-investing our funds into the Ocean Stewardship Fund. 

Grants are available for fisheries at all stages of development as we aim to support:

  • Fisheries starting on the pathway to sustainability
  • Fisheries conducting research to meet best practice
  • MSC certified fisheries with longstanding commitments to sustainability

The MSC has committed 5% of all royalties from MSC certified product sales to support the Ocean Stewardship Fund. The program also has £1 million seed funding. 

Supporting fisheries transitioning toward sustainability

Achieving MSC certification can require fisheries to make wide-ranging changes to their work.  Small scale fisheries and those in the Global South can find those requirements daunting. Our Pathway to sustainability supports such fisheries on their journey towards sustainability assessment. 

Our Transition Assistance Fund helps fisheries in making good progress. Funds can be used to support the cost of improvements that are necessary for the fishery to become sustainable.

In its pilot year, the fund will support fisheries within the Fish for Good program. In future, the fund will be open to all fisheries in a credible fishery improvement project (FIP) and are showing progress toward achieving MSC certification through the In-Transition to MSC (ITM) program.

Supporting fisheries to achieve best practice

To achieve MSC certification fisheries must perform at a high level, but most assessments identify room for improvement. To achieve best practice in every aspect of their work, fisheries are set ‘conditions’ ahead of their next assessment.

In order to meet such conditions, scientific research is often needed . Our Science and Research Fund supports projects that benefit one or more fisheries in the MSC program to meet conditions and achieve best practice.

Supporting fisheries long term commitments to sustainability

Maintaining MSC certification requires a significant commitment from fisheries. Sustainability best practice evolves and fisheries must work to keep up with change.

The future of our oceans depends on certified fisheries maintaining their status and encouraging others to achieve the same standard. Our Recertification Assistance Fund supports fisheries who have maintained MSC certification for at least 10 years by contributing to the cost of recertification.

Supporting postgraduate student research to improve fisheries

The MSC Student Research Grant annually awards grants to support postgraduate students around the world who are studying fisheries science or supply chain traceability.

The fund supports student research in both MSC-certified fisheries and non-certified fisheries using the MSC standard as a framework to improve their sustainability.

Apply to the Ocean Stewardship Fund

Learn more about funding for fishery clients and researchers

Apply for funding
  • '{{item.Image.Title}}', {{item.Image.Artist}}, {{item.Image.Description}}