Sustainability Certification in Community-based Fisheries
The MSC and WWF examined ten community-based fisheries in 2000, including Prainha do Canto Verde, a fishing village in northeastern Brazil. Though the community harvested lobster in a sustainable manner, the larger fishery did not. The national lobster fishery in Brazil covers over 150,000 square kilometers and is characterized by illegal, unsustainable fishing practices and poor enforcement. As a result, the lobster stock remains in serious decline and faces the possibility of collapse. This failing stock health prevented the MSC from considering Prainha do Canto Verde for sustainability certification. Under the MSC, a sustainable product can never come from an unsustainable fishery, despite pockets of good management and environmentally responsible practices.
Currently, the MSC is powerless to promote sustainable practices in communitybased fisheries because the criteria relate directly to the sustainability of the product. By certifying small-scale communities that harvest sustainably within an admittedly unsustainable system, economic incentives for other communities to change their behavior could develop, to the benefit of the larger fishery. Recognizing the constraints inherent in the MSC, this project proposes alternative approaches to promoting the welfare of communities and the sustainability of their fisheries.
School Location:USA - North Carolina
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2005