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Sustainable fishing and environmental improvements in the Baltic Sea boosted

Baltic Sea 2020, the Swedish Postcode Lottery and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) have agreed to work together to stimulate initiatives that will drive measures to improve the environmental quality of the Baltic Sea. The MSC will establish an office in Stockholm and will build upon existing work to transform the seafood market in the Baltic region to a sustainable basis. Initially, the office will deliver MSC services to fishers and the seafood industry in Sweden, Denmark and Northern Germany.

The MSC works with fishers to increase the supply of sustainable seafood and with retailers, the food service industry and others in the supply chain to make sustainable seafood available to consumers.  It also conducts consumer education campaigns to inform them about marine issues and how they can make the best environmental choices when buying seafood.

Rupert Howes, MSC Chief Executive, said “the generosity of the Baltic Sea 2020 Foundation and the continuing help from the Swedish Postcode Lottery is enabling the MSC to play an exciting part in improving the environment of the Baltic Sea. We are encouraged by the contacts the MSC has had with Swedish fishers, seafood processors, distributors and retailers. We look forward to building on them to tackle one of the great environmental challenges. We are especially glad that we are working in schools, as safeguarding seafood supplies for this and future generations is at the heart of the MSC’s work.  The new alliance we are celebrating can help to bring about truly transformational change.  A sustainable Baltic seafood industry is achievable. The Baltic Sea can thrive as a healthy, vibrant eco-system. The MSC is glad to be helping to achieve these outcomes”.

Fisheries: an integral part of the Baltic ecosystem
The new project will help tackle a key element in the complex set of issues that affect the Baltic Sea environment.  Fish are a valuable part of the food chain and so of the Baltic Sea ecological system.  Expanding the work of the MSC in the region will encourage responsible management of key species of fish in the Baltic Sea such as cod. This will help fish stocks to be maintained on a sustainable basis and help restore a more balanced fish population.

Conrad Stralka, Baltic Sea 2020 Executive Director, said “The Foundation hopes that the introduction of the MSC label in the region will help to achieve a sustainable Baltic cod fishery and enable people around the Baltic Sea to buy and eat cod that they know is fished legally on stocks that are viable, within the near future!”

Transforming the seafood market with the MSC
The MSC fisheries certification and eco-labelling programme offers the seafood industry in the Baltic Sea region the means to prove that it operates to the best global marine sustainability standard.  The third party, science-based and independently conducted assessments undertaken through the MSC programme provide an assurance of sustainability in line with international best practice as established by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.

 Swedish schools and the MSC
More Swedish schoolchildren will be able to choose sustainable seafood for lunch as a result of the new arrangements, which will secure the continuing development of a project that the MSC has been carrying out with the help of the Swedish Postcode Lottery.  The Fish and Kids Sweden project was launched in Norrköping on 25th March and aims to increase the amount of MSC certified sustainable seafood eaten in schools, as well as provide curriculum-linked educational resources.  The Norrköping Local Education Authority has pioneered this joint initiative with the MSC and Swedish food service providers to promote seafood sustainability to the next generation of seafood purchasers.

Launching the MSC in the Baltic
The launch of the Fish & Kids project is the first step in the establishment of the MSC in the Baltic Region.  It will be followed, possibly in the early autumn, by an event at which the three partners will introduce the head of the new MSC office, who is being recruited now.

ENDS
Notes for Editors
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation set up to promote solutions to the problem of overfishing. The MSC runs the only certification and eco-labelling programme for wild-capture fisheries consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation guidelines for fisheries certification.  The FAO ‘Guidelines for the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries’ require that credible fishery certification and eco-labelling schemes include: 

  •  Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilising scientific evidence
  • Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures;
  • Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.

The MSC has offices in London, Seattle, Tokyo, Sydney, The Hague, Edinburgh, Berlin, Cape Town and Paris.
In total, nearly 190 fisheries are engaged in the MSC programme with 67 certified and 120 under full assessment.  Another 40 to 50 fisheries are in confidential pre-assessment.  Together, fisheries already certified or in full assessment record annual catches of close to seven million metric tonnes of seafood, representing over 12 per cent of global capture production for direct human consumption. The fisheries already certified catch close to four million metric tonnes of seafood annually – over seven per cent of the total wild capture for direct human consumption. Worldwide, more than 4000 seafood products, which can be traced back to the certified sustainable fisheries, bear the blue MSC ecolabel.
For more information on the work of the MSC, please visit www.msc.org

The lottery for a better world; the Swedish Postcode Lottery is operated as an enterprise on a commercial basis. It gets its revenue from selling lottery tickets and donates its profit to charitable causes. We call it Market-driven Charity.