Echebastar Sustainability Working Group awarded with MSC Ocean Stewardship Fund (OSF).
The MSC Ocean Stewardship Fund (OSF) is dedicated to accelerating progress in sustainable fishing and contributing towards the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14, Life Below Water. In 2020, OSF grants focus on reducing impacts on threatened species and tackling abandoned fishing gear, known as ‘ghost gear’.
We are delighted that the Echebastar Sustainability Working Group is one of the 15 fisheries and research projects around the world that have been selected to receive a grant.
Four of our activities will benefit from OSF co-funding. Two are related to our MSC certificate. The remaining two emphasise our determination to go beyond the MSC standard by improving information and better understanding the impact of our fishery on other elements of the ecosystem.
OSF will support activities to meet the conditions to certification in preparation for the second annual surveillance audit. In addition, we will analyse the implications for our certification from the need to consider the cumulative effects of other potential MSC certified fisheries. This will allow us to be proactive in responding to any new challenges.
Our existing approach (non-entangling FADs, a second on-board conveyor belt to release alive not targeted species, best practise manual) mitigates the impact of our fishery on unwanted catches. However, we need to have a clear idea of the survival after release. The pilot project that we intend to complete in full cooperation with AZTI and other operators, would give a preliminary idea of the nature of the issue and test an approach to research that may be taken forward by other stakeholders.
Kepa Echevarria, the CEO of Echebastar, said “We are gratified to have been selected as beneficiaries of the Ocean Stewardship Fund along with organisations such as BirdLife, WWF, IPNLF that are at the vanguard of protecting the world’s oceans by promoting sustainable fisheries. This recognises the validity of our on-going efforts to reduce interactions with other elements of the ecosystem while maintaining an efficient commercial fishery that brings substantial benefits to a wide range of people while supplying top-quality product to discerning customers worldwide. The OSF contribution will complement our own specific activities that are part of our much wider sustainability work programme. We anticipate that our work will be supported by a wide range of stakeholders and provide the foundation for more detailed work by them in the future”.
MSC International – Ocean Stewardship Fund (https://www.msc.org/what-we-are-doing/our-collective-impact/ocean-stewardship-fund)