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Spanish students win MSC scholarship award for fisheries science

Two students from Spain have won this year’s Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) scholarship for fisheries science. Cristina Andrés and João Rodrigues, both PhD students, will receive up to £4,000 to conduct research in Latin America and Africa in 2015.

Ms Andrés is studying marine biology at the University of Huelva in Spain and will use the funds to research the impacts of overfishing and abandoned fishing gear on the distribution of shark and tuna species surrounding a UNESCO World Heritage site, Cocos Island National Park, in the eastern Pacific.

Mr Rodrigues, a student at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain will be investigating the environmental and economic challenges of seafood supply chains in developing countries. His focus will be on artisanal fisheries in Cape Verde.   

The MSC’s scholarship programme is aimed at developing knowledge and understanding of the science and management of fisheries.

A panel of four scientists chose the best project which met the requirements of environmental improvement, fish supply chain management or best practice in fisheries management.

The MSC’s Standards director, David Agnew, said: "This is the fifth round of MSC scholarships and the scope of projects and calibre of applicants keep increasing year on year making judging a difficult task. We are delighted that this year’s winners are investigating some of the issues faced by developing world fisheries, an increasingly important area for MSC. We hope that their work will contribute to securing our vision of oceans teeming with life for future generations.”

João Rodrigues said: “I’m really excited at the opportunity to research into the challenges small-scale fisheries face in Cape Verde and hope the findings will add to the knowledge base of seafood supply chains. I’d like to thank MSC for this funding and their passion to encourage sustainable fishing globally.”

Cristina and João’s work will be reviewed for publication in the MSC Science Series.