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Sustainability from the bottom up: Brazilian artisanal fishers are betting their last lobsters on certification by René Scharer June 21,2012   |  Source: Terramar |  Alert Type(s): Samudra Exclusive

Artisanal lobster fishers from Ceará State in northeastern Brazil are pursuing a label which recognizes their responsible fishing practices and the origin of their lobster catches.

A June 10 meeting of community leaders from six communities agreed to contract the Spanish branch of Bureau Veritas to certify the fishery. Starting as soon as possible with its evaluation, Veritas aim to start the certification process within the next two months.

The idea of certifying the lobster fishery in this region is not new. The NGO Terramar and the community of Prainha do Canto Verde pioneered certification in Brazil, thanks to this community being chosen by the US Ocean Campaign of the WWF and the Marine Stewardship Council to test the MSC certification in 10 small-scale fisheries around the world in 2000.

The pilot project highlighted how the principles and criteria developed by the MSC were not suitable for small-scale fisheries; ever since, the MSC has been working on adapting and developing standards for small-scale fisheries.

The test also failed because the local fishers in the Prainha community did not have any control over resource management or enforcement.

Lobster used to be the main export commodity from the northeast of Brazil, reaching US$80 mn in the good


© 2012 ICSF

Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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