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Fish for Good is a four-year project initiated by the MSC. Fish for Good aims to guide fisheries in Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa on their journey towards sustainability, giving them the support and tools to improve their fishing practices and restore healthy fish stocks. Fish for Good is funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery.

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Fish for good in 1 minute

Fish for good in 1 minute

What is Fish for Good doing?

Fish for Good selects fisheries from South Africa, Mexico and Indonesia and works with them to improve their fishing practices towards sustainability. The project establishes regional advisory groups consisting of market partners, government officials, scientists, the fishing industry and NGOs. These advisory groups play a crucial role in the project by supporting the selected fisheries in improving performance and in developing action plans with steps towards MSC certification. Key measures include reducing bycatch, mitigating against habitat interactions, and rebuilding fish stocks.

Fish for Good also organises multiple training sessions to build stakeholder capacity and enable sustainability improvements. During the final action plan stage, selected fisheries work on improvements to position themselves at a level where MSC certification becomes a possibility. Some fisheries may be able to enter the MSC assessment process by 2021 and - after having received the MSC label - benefit from the growing market demand for sustainably caught fish. 

Six fisheries taking part in the Fish for Good projects are also participating in the In-Transition to MSC (ITM) program. The program was developed to support small-scale and Global South fisheries committed to achieving MSC certification. Accredited Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) verify the fisheries' progress annually for a maximum of five years, to ensure the fisheries are making the improvements needed to pass MSC assessment. These fisheries also received funding from the MSC's Transition Assistance Fund to support the costs associated with implementing the improvements identified in the fisheries' action plans. 

Fish for good projects

Fish for Good - South Africa

Fish for Good - South Africa

South Africa is flanked by two diverse large marine ecosystems (LMEs). Fishing is important to the economy and for the livelihoods of coastal communities.

Fish for Good - Indonesia

Fish for Good - Indonesia

Indonesia is the world's second largest fish producer. Some stocks are being overfished. Local food security, economy and marine biodiversity are at risk.

Fish for Good - Mexico

Fish for Good - Mexico

Increasing interest in sustainable seafood products in the Mexican market is matched by the need to safeguard food, local economic security and the natural wealth of Mexican waters.

Fish for Good stages

Our project is divided in 3 stages: a mapping stage, where fisheries are identified based on several criteria; a pre-assessment stage and an action plan stage.

During the action plan stage, the selected fisheries will work on sustainability improvements to position themselves at a level where MSC certification becomes a possibility. Some fisheries may be able to enter the MSC assessment process by 2021.​



Stage 1


Stage 2


Stage 3

Action Plans

DueJune 2018April 2019April 2021
What?Mapping fisheries in the regionsAssessing baseline performance and identifying areas for improvementDeveloping action plans to improve fisheries' performance against the MSC indicators
How?Building fisheries profiles through desktop research and stakeholder interviewsConducting large-scale gap analysis of fisheries' performance against the MSC StandardAgreeing on actions and stakeholders' responsibilities to address the gaps defined in Stage 2
By whom?MSC or external partnersAccredited third-party assessorCollaborative stakeholder effort

60 fisheries mapped

26 fisheries Pre-Assessed

22 fisheries' Action Plans

Building on experience: MSC tools

Fish for Good will make use of the tools developed by the MSC to help fisheries in the Global South improve their fishing practices: the Benchmarking and Tracking Tool tracks the status and progress of fisheries against the MSC Fisheries Standard, and the Capacity Building Tool enables stakeholders to implement credible Fishery Improvement Projects towards MSC certification.

Get in touch

Do you want to know more about Fish for Good? Contact us at [email protected]