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Sustainable fishing can counteract the effects of climate change

Click on the flag for more information about Spain SPAIN
Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 03:00 (GMT + 9)

It is the conclusion of the scientific forum organized by MSC that has revolved around fisheries sustainability and that has also dealt with the relationships between SDG14 Underwater Life and SDG 13 Climate Action, from the perspective of fisheries management , marine and coastal ecosystems, and their relationship with climate change

Representatives of FAO, Generalitat de Catalunya and the universities of Santiago de Compostela and Vigo have participated as speakers

MSC launches its initiative Mares Para Siempre Week, from February 22 to 28 , to which more than 50 entities have joined.

In the framework of the Marine Stewardship Council's (MSC) Seas Forever Week initiative, the non-profit sustainable fishing organization has organized a dialogue on fisheries sustainability and its impact on climate change, and that has also dealt with the relationships between Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 Underwater Life and SDG 13 Climate Action, from the p Perspective of the management of fisheries, marine and coastal ecosystems, and their relationship with climate change. The main conclusion is that sustainable fishing can curb the effects of climate change. Representatives of FAO, the Generalitat de Catalunya, as well as the University of Santiago de Compostela and Vigo, together with MSC, have participated in the scientific forum.

Thus, Alejandro Anganuzzi, global coordinator of the FAO Common Oceans Program, explained that in the context of a market that is increasingly sensitive to a sustainable use of fishery resources, the Regional Fisheries Organizations (RFOs) for tuna continue to evolve permanent for more than 15 years to improve its effectiveness. There are still areas to improve, but progress is clear and mark a way forward to strengthen the sustainability and image of RFOs in the international community. Alejandro has remarked that “Regional fishing organizations represent the only viable mechanism for a sustainable use of shared resources such as tuna. It is time to ask ourselves how we can contribute to making them work better.”

Jordi Rodón, head of the Marine Resources Service of the General Directorate of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs of the Generalitat de Catalunya, has made his presentation on co-management and how this adaptive management can contribute to SDG14 and the improvement of fisheries management. Specifically Rodón has emphasized that the involvement of scientists and civil society in the local management of fisheries, giving support to fishermen and fisheries administration, is essential to achieve their sustainability.

For his part, Sebastián Villasante, professor of economics at the University of Santiago de Compostela, and one of the scientists of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), has pointed out that conserving marine natural capital is insurance for life for human well-being and the planet. He affirmed that relevant advances have been made in the ecosystem management of the oceans, although there are still important challenges to be addressed. In particular, it has shown that artisanal fishing is highly productive and efficient in economic terms, and this implies reconsidering not only the role of artisanal fishing in ecosystem management, but also in the design and magnitude of fishing subsidies to the fishing sector in this Decade of the Oceans.

Elena Ojea Senior Researcher at the Future Oceans Lab of the Mariña Research Center (CIM) of the University of Vigo and one of the scientists of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Climate Change (IPCC) has remarked that "Sustainable management of fisheries helps us to combat the impacts of climate change”. Elena has also underlined that “climate change threatens compliance with SDG14, Underwater Life, due to its impacts on the distribution of species, acidification or extreme events, among others. Climate action (SDG13) greatly reduces the risks of future climate impacts, and global warming limited to 1.5º would imply a provision of key ocean resources and services.” According to Elena, both SDGs have much more synergies than incompatibilities, so that achieving SDG14 helps us adapt to the impacts of climate change and increase the mitigation capacity of the oceans. That is why fisheries management must focus on SDG14 and demonstrate that sustainable and adaptive resource management can greatly contribute to climate action.

Finally, Alberto Martín, MSC fisheries manager, has launched a call to action to the nearly 200 attendees of the event, to contribute in the area of ​​influence of each one to improve fisheries sustainability and thus minimize the impacts of climate change on fisheries and ecosystems. The scientific forum is part of the calendar of events of the Seaside Forever Week, which MSC Spain celebrates this week, from February 22 to 28, and whose activities will continue throughout the month of March. This initiative aims to raise public awareness about sustainable fishing and the importance of protecting marine resources for the future. Also, increase awareness about the MSC program and the blue seal that allows fish consumers to actively contribute to Seas Forever.

The Week "Seas Forever" unites all those agents committed to certified sustainable fishing and responsible fish consumption, such as brands, distributors, manufacturers, scientific and educational institutions and other organizations, together to add and disseminate more efficiently. Thus, the distribution and restoration companies Alcampo, Aldi, Bofrost, Caprabo, Carrefour, Consum, El Corte Inglés, Eroski, Grupo DIA, Iberostar, LIDL, Makro collaborate; the companies Grupo Calvo, Campos, Compesca, Congalsa, Consorcio, Conservas Emperatriz, Conservas Serrats, Cuca, Dimar-Arte Morhua, Echebastar, Findus, Frinsa, Grupo Delfín, Iberconsa, La Cocinera, Lorea (Yurrita Group), Martiko, Palacio de Oriente (Conservas Antonio Alonso), Pescaviar, Premium Shellfish, Rianxeira (Jealsa), Salted Garré and Skandia); as well as institutions, foundations and other entities such as Alianza Surf Naturaleza, Ambientech, ASC, AZTI, Bermeo Tuna World Capital, Blog Huella de Alcampo, CETMAR, Dinar Project, DSTAgE Concept, Ecogestiona, Ethic, Forética, Fundación Ecoalf, Fundación Oceanografico, Hazte Eco, Instituto de Investigaciones Mariñas - CSIC, JC Decaux, Kofradía Itsas Etxea, Spanish Network for Sustainable Development, Alimentaria Magazine, Signus, Surf Channel and Terabithia Media.

Seas Forever Week is also promoted in collaboration with 21 MSC ambassadors, united in the goal of building a collaborative network to promote knowledge about sustainable fishing and demonstrate the environmental, economic and social benefits of the MSC program. Consumers are also invited to participate by joining the #MaresParaSiempre movement and choosing fish with the blue seal.

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