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 opened on 8 October 2020.

In 2021 we expect to award over £1 million to fisheries at all stages on the path to sustainability.

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' path to sustainability

Our Transition Assistance Fund supports fisheries making progress towards MSC certification. Grants of up to £50,000 are available to any fisheries in the Global South and any small-scale fisheries that are committed to achieving MSC certification and are verified through our In-Transition to MSC (ITM) program.


Supporting fisheries to achieve best practice

Our Science and Research Fund awards grants of up to £50,000 for research projects that help fisheries meet and maintain sustainability best practice. This includes projects aimed at closing conditions of MSC certification.

This year we particularly welcome projects focusing on improving harvest strategies/harvest control rules and ensuring bait used to catch fish comes from a sustainable source.

Supporting fisheries long term commitments to sustainability

Our Recertification Assistance Fund helps MSC certified fisheries with the cost of Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) fees for the second or subsequent recertification audit.

Recertification grants are limited to either 75% of the CAB’s recertification audit costs, or GBP £30,000, whichever is lower.

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.

Supporting innovation in the industry

The Innovation Fund supports research that is a strategic priority for the MSC.

This year's funding will support global efforts to identify and improve best practice approaches and improvements, to ensure fishery observers around the world can carry out their work safely.

£100,000 is available from the Innovation Fund this year, with individual grants of up to £50,000 being awarded.

Apply to the Ocean Stewardship Fund

Apply to the Ocean Stewardship Fund

Learn more about funding for fishery clients and researchers

Apply for funding
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