Press release

MSC announces recipients of new scholarship award

May 9, 2014

MSC announces recipients of new scholarship award

The MSC is pleased to announce the recipients of the first scholarship research awards. It was originally intended to offer one travel and study scholarship annually, up to the value of £4000. However, due to the high standard and volume of applications, it was agreed that there will be two scholarship research awards on this occasion.

A panel of four selected Chris Poonian, a PhD Life Sciences student at the University of Nottingham, England for his project: ‘Coastal fisheries management traditions of the Bedu of South Sinai and implications for modern‐day conservation in Egypt’.

The second award went to Giulia Gorelli, a student at Institut de Ciències del Mar – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (ICM-CSIC) in Barcelona, Spain for her project: ‘Effects of closing the fishery of the deep sea shrimp Aristeus atennatus during winter season in the canyon heads of the north western Mediterranean’.


Research projects were required to have as their objective ‘the study of some aspect of environmental improvement, performance or best practice in fisheries management, or fish product supply chain management’. Direct linkage to a fishery certified or wishing to become certified by the MSC was not a requirement.


Following news of his successful scholarship award Chris Poonian said 'We have a lot to learn from the Bedouin fishers of South Sinai who have sustainably managed their natural resources for generations, the MSC scholarship will greatly assist our efforts to gain recognition for traditional fisheries stewardship and its inclusion in management plans for Marine Protected Areas in the region'.

Giulia Gorelli stated "I am very glad that the MSC decided to support my project in this moment of crisis and cuts of funding to research. Unsustainable fishing is a priority topic today involving environmental, economical and social aspects. Thanks to the MSC I'll be able to carry on my research for improving fisheries management and seeking sustainability of sea resources exploitation".

David Agnew, Standards Director at the MSC said “The MSC is delighted to support these two innovative student research projects, which will further contribute to our knowledge of fisheries biology and management. I look forward to seeing the results”.

Next steps

The two research projects will be delivered over the next 12 months. Research findings will be published by the MSC next year.

The MSC are currently considering further expanding the scholarship program to complement the academic year and research projects in the Southern hemisphere.

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