News and opinion

Andrew Bowman

MSC Content Manager.

How the Dutch Postcode Lottery helps sustainable fishing in the Global South

February 5, 2021

Long-time funder, the Dutch Postcode lottery has extended its partnership with the MSC and will provide €1.5 million over three years, beginning in January 2022. Funding from the Lottery has already supported vital work towards sustainability in Global South fisheries.

Women in protective clothing sitting at tables processing crabBlue swimmer crab processors in Indonesia © Fish For Good 2020

The MSC’s work has benefitted from Dutch Postcode Lottery funding since 2011. In 2017 the lottery provided project-specific funding for Fish For Good, a four-year project that has worked with fishing communities and local partners in Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa.

Fish For Good

While more than half the world’s traded seafood comes from the Global South,  many fisheries in these countries face barriers to achieving sustainability. Fish For Good has enabled research and support for key fisheries across three continents.

Indonesia, South Africa and Mexico were chosen specifically for the project due to:

  • the high importance of fishing to local economies 
  • an urgent need to protect marine environments
  • the presence of supportive partner organisations

Each country’s project has involved three stages:

  1. Selection of fisheries - mapped according to their target species, areas fished, gear(s) used and catch volumes. Stock status, environmental impacts and market potential are also taken into account. 
  2. Pre-assessment of fisheries against the MSC Fisheries Standard to identify areas for improvement
  3. Development and implementation of action plans to deliver improvements in fisheries 


Where the money goes

A total of €1.75 million Dutch Postcode Lottery funding has been awarded to the Fish for Good project. This has helped bring together market partners, government officials, scientists, fishing industry representatives and NGOs as advisory groups. Advisory groups have supported fisheries in developing and implementing action plans.

Funding has also enabled pre-assessments by independent experts and on-the-ground training sessions to build stakeholder capacity and ensure improvements can be delivered.

The Fisheries

A total of 21 fisheries have reached the action plan stage: five in South Africa, seven in Mexico and nine in Indonesia. The fisheries collectively target a diverse array of species including squid, crab, tuna, lobster and mussels.

By completing action plans these fisheries will reach a level where MSC sustainability certification becomes a possibility.

Read about the women of the Indonesian blue swimmer crab fishery

Fish for Good

Fish for Good

This four-year project aims to guide fisheries on their journey towards sustainability, giving them the support and tools to improve fishing practices and restore healthy fish stocks.

Find out more
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