The Ocean Stewardship Fund is supported by a variety of sources, including 5% of the MSC’s annual royalty income from ecolabelled products as well as donations from third-party funders.
Evolving the Ocean Stewardship Fund
The Ocean Stewardship Fund is scaling up to ensure it has a greater impact on growing global sustainable fishing practices.
The MSC’s experience has shown that many small-scale fisheries, particularly in developing economies, face unique challenges in their transition towards sustainability. A lack of data, technical capacity, financial resources, and/or government support often constrain such fisheries in adopting and implementing sustainable practices.
The MSC is mobilising resources from third-party funders in order to increase its capacity to support such fisheries through our Ocean Stewardship Fund. We will continue to dedicate 5% of our annual royalty income to the fund.
Reach of the Ocean Stewardship Fund
Since 2020, the MSC has awarded 106 grants through the Ocean Stewardship Fund.
We have an ambition to raise over €100 million by 2032 and have already mobilised over US $10 million from third-party donors and MSC royalties. Of this $10 million, $4.9 million has been allocated to fisheries and research projects.
In 2022, US $850,000 was awarded to fisheries improvement projects in the Mediterranean and West Africa, supported by the MAVA Foundation. A further US $1 million was awarded to selected fisheries committed to sustainability through a loan guarantee scheme, supported by the Walton Family Foundation.
Donor funds make a real contribution to accelerating sustainable fishing globally and safeguarding our sustainable seafood supplies for the future.
MAVA Foundation funded projects
Understanding the health of the Palamós shrimp fishery
The Marine Science Institute of the Spanish Research Council has received (€25,200) to undertake a stock assessment of the blue and red shrimp (Aristeus antennatus), in order to progress the sustainability of the fishery. The fishery is also part of the multi-stakeholder MedFish programme, one of the MSC Pathway to Sustainability projects.
Understanding the health of the Gulf of Lions wedge clam dredge fishery
The Comité Régional des Pêches d’Occitanie has received €26,475 to develop the first inventory of the stock of clams that have been fished by the Gulf of Lions wedge clam dredge fishery. This project will help to achieve part of the fishery’s action plan for improving its sustainability. Historical data on clams will be collected and analysed, interviews will be held with fishers and other stakeholders, and a protocol for scientific monitoring of the stock will be developed and tested by fishers for one year. This fishery is also part of the multi-stakeholder MedFish project, one of the MSC Pathway to Sustainability projects.
Improving estimates of the common dentex in the Corsica common dentex longline fishery
The University of Corsica has received €31,500 to improve catch estimates of common dentex by analysing data from fishers’ logbooks as well as onboard surveys of bottom longline catch and of recreational fishing boats operating in the Bonifacio Straits Natural Reserve. This project will help to achieve part of the fishery’s action plan for improving its sustainability. The data and estimates will be implemented in stock assessment models for the fishery and used to set more precise reference points for both professional and recreational fishing (i.e. benchmarks that can be used to compare the current stock status with the desired stock status, and therefore indicate whether management of the fishery is sustainable). This fishery is also part of the multi-stakeholder MedFish project, one of the MSC Pathway to Sustainability projects.
Improving knowledge in the common octopus pots and traps fishery in the northern Aegean Sea
The Hellenic Agricultural Organisation DIMITRA and Fisheries Research Institute have received €68,940 to enhance data collection of the common octopus fishery’s target catch and bycatch through onboard observations as well as the fishery’s interactions with other species and habitats using underwater drone technology. Better data on these elements will improve the fishery’s progress toward sustainability. This fishery is also part of the multi-stakeholder HellasFish project, one of the MSC Pathway to Sustainability projects.
Improving data on the common octopus traps fishery in the Gulf of Oristano (western Sardinian Sea) through a stock assessment analysis
Legacoop Sardegna has received €36,750 to develop two stock assessments for the common octopus that is validated using data collected at landing sites. Having a validated stock assessment could lead to a more refined harvest strategy and harvest control rules, which are actions the fishery must take in response to any change in the health of the stock. This fishery is also part of the multi-stakeholder BluFish project, one of the MSC Pathway to Sustainability projects.
Evaluating the impact of the Castellon anchovy and sardine purse seine fishery on endangered, threatened or protected species
The Marine Science Institute of the Spanish Research Council has received €32,288 to collect local ecological knowledge from fishers, conduct tissue sampling of any specimens caught, and carry out onboard surveys and echo-sounding identification of any species interactions with the fishery. These activities will strengthen understanding of the effects of the fishery on endangered, threatened or protected species, improve handling procedures for the fishery and will also provide better knowledge on the ecological role of small-pelagic fish in the Western Mediterranean. This fishery is also part of the multi-stakeholder MedFish project, one of the MSC Pathway to Sustainability projects.
Understanding the movement of dolphinfish in the Balearic Islands dolphinfish seine fishery
The Spanish Oceanographic Institute and the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (both bodies of the Spanish Research Council) have received €30,000 to study the movement of dolphinfish juveniles within and between fish aggregating devices (man-made floating rafts) that are used in the Balearic Islands dolphinfish fishery to attract and capture dolphinfish. Conventional and acoustic tagging will be used to better understand the movement of dolphinfish as juveniles, which will improve knowledge of its population structure and therefore management of the fishery. This fishery is also part of the multi-stakeholder MedFish project, one of the MSC Pathway to Sustainability projects.
Using software to improve the sustainability of fisheries in the northern Alboran Sea
The Fish Producers’ Organisation 85 has received €36,750 to develop a suitable tool for monitoring fishing activities, collecting and analysing data from fisheries operating in the northern Alboran Sea. This includes fleets from the Motril and other ports striped soldier shrimp trap fishery and fleets from the Caleta de Velez and other ports anchovy purse seine fishery. The data collected will be used to assess the stocks of target species as well as contribute towards the development of an action plan for improving the sustainability of these and other Alboran fisheries. Both fisheries are also part of the multi-stakeholder MedFish project, one of the MSC Pathway to Sustainability projects.