Aware of wide-spread overfishing, citizens all over Germany ask for reliable criteria for purchasing fish from sustainably managed stocks.

The blue label of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) on fisheries products wants to deliver just that by certifying fisheries which satisfy primarily these three key conditions:

1. sustainable stocks,

2. low impact fishing methods,

3. effective fisheries management.

Sustainable stocks are not overfished and maintain a size enabling them to produce maximum sustainable yield.

In the case of stocks, which are already drastically reduced, their rehabilitation can take place thanks to fisheries management measures adapted to this need.

A new interdisciplinary study of researchers of the Excellence Cluster “Ocean of the Future” in Kiel shows that a part of the stocks certified by MSC in the Northeast Atlantic does not meet these conditions.

Of 31 stocks examined closely more than 10 were fished harder than economically meaningful and ecologically justifiable.

Mundus maris has organised a workshop on the topic – together with the German Oceanographic Foundation - at the "Festival for the Future” in Berlin.

This was the meeting point, on 10 and 11 September 2016, of the Who is Who in politics, the economy and associations addressing environmental issues to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Reactor Security.

Click here to read the press release of the event.

The original publication with Mundus maris member Dr. Silvia Opitz, as the first author, can be accessed here:

Silvia Opitz, Julia Hoffmann, Martin Quaas, Nele Matz-Lück, Crispina Binohlan & Rainer Froese, 2016. Assessment of MSC-certified fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic. Marine Policy, 71:10-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2016.05.003

Mundus maris intervened as well in another panel discussion convened by Conservation International under the title "Ocean in Trouble", which attacted a lot of attention.

In her role as moderator, Dr. Cornelia E Nauen introduced the topic. She referred to the three most important issues representing the major threats to the ocean and to the survival of our civilisations: overfishing, pollution and climate change and their effects on human societies and interconnected land and ocean ecosystems.

She then presented the three speakers, who spoke passionately about the ocean.

H.E. Anote Tong served three terms until March 2016 as President of the Pacific island nation of Kiribati and is an experienced diplomat in the international arena of climate negotiations, where he vehemently fought for the survival of his country and the other Pacific island countries.

Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Nuclear Safety, has led the German delegations in major international negotiations, such as the 12th Conference of the Parties (COP12) to the Convention on Biodiversity and in the negotiations of the sustainability goals for 2030, which were adopted by the UN General Assembly in New York in September, 2015.

Frank Schweikert, journalist, biologist and chair of the German Oceanographic Foundation, founded in 2015, has also initiated already back in 1992 the research and media vessel Aldebaran. He is actively working for the protection and sustainable use of the sea.

The ensuing discussion was ended with the movie "The Ocean”. The speaker is the well-known actor and environmental activist Hannes Jaenicke, who was able to join during the projection and underscored again the need for dramatically improved ocean and climate change. The moderator thanked all organisers and participants for their active engagement and closed the session inviting everybody to collectively protect the live-giving ocean with renewed energy.

Click here for more info about the Festival for the Future.