Finalist, Innovation Category
Project:Inshore is a collaboration of the Marine Stewardship Council and Seafish. Small, coastal fishing boats, or the ‘Inshore Fleet’, make up nearly three quarters of England’s fishing fleet. The rich array of seafood they serve up also presents unique scientific challenges for fishery managers. Relatively small landings per vessel, with varying market demand from one day to the next, make it hard to attract investment for scientific research.
Accordingly, these data-limited fisheries are trapped in a vicious cycle whereby their performance remains unclear, leading to poor NGO/sustainability ratings, leading to poor commercial uptake, leading to poor research investment. Project:Inshore has utilized the Marine Stewardship Council Standard for sustainable fishing to produce tailored sustainability reports for every inshore fishery around the English coast. This was the first time a third-party standard for sustainable fisheries had been used as a measure of performance and strategy for improvement of national fisheries. The Project:Inshore model has—for the first time—mapped all of these fisheries together and provided sustainability reports for each of them, helping to secure seafood supplies from these fisheries for this and future generations.
About the Project
Project:Inshore began as an joint-initiative between the Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB) and The Sussex Sea Fisheries Committee (since April 2011 known as the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA)) in 2010. The SAGB/IFCA initiative utilised the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) pre-assessment criteria to evaluate the performance of 26 local inshore fisheries.
The success of this pilot, ‘Navigating the Future’, prompted the SAGB to bring in further project partners to develop Project:Inshore to map all the remaining English inshore fisheries.
A three person team of Toby Middleton (MSC), Melanie Siggs and Tom Pickerell (then SAGB now Seafish) (the ‘three amigos’) is the driving force behind Project:Inshore.
The UK Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon, noted that Project Inshore “… should help to ensure that our inshore fleet can continue to flourish, that fish stocks are managed sustainably and our marine environment is given the protection it needs.”
- Website: http://www.seafish.org/industry-support/fishing/project-inshore
- Twitter: @MSCintheUK (using #ProjectInshore)